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A SKETCH OF SEMITIC ORIGINS 

SOCIAL AND EELIGIOUS 



_^T|^^^ 



A SKETCH 



OF 



SEMITIC ORIGINS 



SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS 



BY 



GEORGE AARON BARTON, A.M., Ph.D. 

ASSOCIATE PBOFESSOE OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE AND 
SEMITIC LANGUAGES IN BKYN UAWB COLLEGE 



Netn got* 
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

LONDON: MACMILLAN & CO., I/td. 
1902 

All rights reserved 



COPTBIOHT, 1902, 

bt the macmillan company. 



M 



J. S. Cnshiog & Co, — Berwick & Smith 
Norwood Maaa. U-S-A. 



TO 

CRAWFORD HOWELL TOY, A.M., LL.D. 
DAVID GORDON LYON, Ph.D., D.D. 

AND 

JOSEPH HENRY THAYER, D.D., Litt.D, 

^taltBsaxs in 3§artstlr Sanibtrsttj 

THIS VOLUME IS INSCRIBED 
IN GRATITUDE AND AFrECTION 



PREFACE 

The studies which have culminated in this volume 
have occupied much of my attention for the past eleven 
years, and have previously led to the publication of sev- 
eral articles. In the autumn of 1898, while giving a 
course of lectures on Semitic religion, the various parts 
of the subject grouped themselves so coherently in my 
mind that I could no longer doubt that these studies 
had led me to the discovery of the path trodden by the 
Semites in the journey from savagery to civilization, in the 
course of which the most characteristic features of their 
social and religious life were created. Since then the 
details have been worked out with as much care as the 
complex duties which attach to a very comprehensive 
chair would permit, and are here submitted to scholars. 

The writer is well aware that to many of his fellow 
workers in Semitic studies, who have been engaged in 
working different mines in our large territory, any attempt 
to sketch the course of Semitic evolution will seem prema- 
ture and impossible. It is the writer's conviction, never- 
theless, that he has chanced upon the trail along which 
the Semites dragged themselves during those weary cen- 
turies when they were working their way from savagery 
to civilization, and that he has had the good fortune in 
some places to identify their fossil footprints and to per- 
ceive the meaning of those identified in many places by 
others. Here and there an identification of the exact 
course of the trail is not at present possible, the luxuriant 
forests, the populous cities, or the overflowing seas of 
later civilizations have so buried the trail under thick 
jungles, massive mounds, or strata of rock. Enough of 
the trail can still be detected to render its general course 



viii PREFACE 



certain, aud to enable us to guess with approximate accu- 
racy where its course must have lain at those points which 
are hidden from view. Where it is necessary to guess at 
the direction of this old Semitic pathway, I have endeav- 
ored to indicate the course which it seems to me most 
probable that it followed. In these instances future 
investigations may show that I have not divined with 
exactness all its windings and curves, but such knowledge 
will be welcomed by none more gladly than by myself. 

The study of primitive Semitic life necessarily brings 
to view many unsavory details. Professional students 
will readily understand the necessity for treating these 
in the spirit in which it is done. Should this volume 
chance to fall into the hands of any others, they are re- 
minded that it is a study primarily not of the pure white 
lily which has sprung from Semitic soil, but of the chem- 
istry of that soil itself. At the conclusion of the book 
the lily is not only described and appreciated, but a point 
of view is gained where it can be valued the more highly 
because we know the blackness of the mire from which 
it springs. The Power which could bring such purity 
from such unpromising antecedents impresses us anew, 
and, when we reflect a little further, the wisdom of the 
Providence, who prepared in such a soil the very elements 
which the lily needed for its earthly nourishment, shines 
out in clearer light. Such a reader is asked to judge the 
book not from the first impression which its sociological 
studies may make upon him, but by the vantage ground 
gained at the end. 

In the preparation of this volume I have been greatly 
helped by my colleague, Professor Lindley M. Keasbey, 
who first called my attention to the economic importance 
of the palm tree, who has given me much indispensable 
information in regard to sociological literature and theo- 
ries, and has made many valuable criticisms and sugges- 
tions concerning the sociological portion of the work. 
Without his aid this portion of the book must have been 



PREFACE ix 



far more imperfect than it is. My thanks are also due to 
my colleague, Miss Florence Bascom, Ph.D., who, in like 
manner, rendered invaluable aid in those portions of the 
work which touch upon geological data, and to my friend, 
Professor W. Max Miiller of Philadelphia, who gener- 
ously loaned me from his library books bearing on the 
Hamites which were otherwise inaccessible. I am also 
greatly indebted to my wife, who has drawn the maps for 
this volume, carefully read all the proofs, and made many 
valuable criticisms and suggestions. My obligations to 
other scholars are numerous and great. An endeavor has 
been made in the foot-notes to acknowledge these, but in 
Fome parts of the work, as in the chapter on Yahwe, the 
names of some of those whose work has indirectly con- 
tributed much to my thought could not be made to appear 
in a definite reference. To all such I thankfully ac- 
knowledge my obligation. The articles of Thomas Tyler 
in the Jewish Quarterly Review of July, 1901, and of Hans 
H. Spoer in AJSL. of October, 1901, on the Tetragram- 
maton reached me too late to be noticed in discussing 
the origin of the name " Yahwe." I cannot see, however, 
that they would have materially changed the treatment 
of the subject. The references to Hilprecht's OBI. are to 
the form in which the work first appeared. Those who 
have the later reprint should add 214 to the number of 
the page references in Part II in order to find the refer- 
ences in their edition. 

I cease work upon the volume, conscious of its many 
imperfections, but with the hope that it may contribute a 
little to the knowledge of its great theme. 



Bbtn Mawb, Pa., 
November, 1901. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I 

rAsx 
Thb Cradlb of the Semites 1 



CHAPTER n 
Pkimitivk Semitic Social Life 30 

CHAPTER HI 
Semitic Religious Origins 81 

CHAPTER IV 

Transformations among the Southern and Western 

Semites 123 

CHAPTER V 
Transformations in Babylonia 155 

CHAPTER VI 
Survivals 233 



CHAPTER VII 

Yahwe 269 

xi 



xii CONTENTS 



CHAPTER VIII 

Brief Estimate of Semitic Social and Religious Influ- 
ence ON THE non-Semitic World 309 



General Index 323 

Index of Scripture References 339 



J 



ABBEEVIATIONS USED IN THE SUBSEQUENT 
PAGES 

AJSL. American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures. 

AL^2,3,4. Assyriche Lesestuke, von Friedrich Delitzsch, 1st, 2d, 3d, 
and 4th editions. 

BA. Beitrdge zur Assyriologie und semitischen Sprachwissenschaft, 

herausgegeben von Friedrich Delitzsch und Paul Haupt. 

CIS. Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum. 

CTBM. Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets, etc., in the British 
Museum, London, 1896-1901. 

Assyrisches Handworteriuch, von Friedrich Delitzsch, Leipsig, 
1896. 



HWB. 



JAOS. Journal of the American Oriental Society. 

JBL. Journal of Biblical Literature. 

KAT'. Keilinschriften und das alte Testament, von E. Schrader, 2d 
edition. 

KB. Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek, herausgegeben von E. Schrader. 

OBI. The Babylonian Expedition of the University of Pennsylvania. 

Series A : Cuneiform Texts. Vol. I, Old Babylonian In- 
scriptions, edited by H. V. Hilprecht, Philadelphia, 1893 to 
1896. 

PAOS. Proceedings of the American Oriental Society. 

Petermann's Mittheilungen ; i.e. Mittheilungen aus Justes Perthes geo- 
graphischer Anstalt loichtige neue Erforschungen auf dem 
gesammelt Gebiete der Geographic, von A. Petermann. 

R. The Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia, edited by Henry 

Eawlinson. I H., II R., etc.. Vols. I, II, etc., of the same. 

SBOT. The Sacred Books of the Old and New Testaments, edited by 
Paul Haupt. 

ZA. Zeitschrifte fur Assyriologie. 

ZATW. Zeitschrift der alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, edited by Stade. 

ZDMG. Zeitschrift der deutschen Morgenldndischen Gesellschaft. 



A SKETCH OF SEMITIC ORIGINS, 
SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS 

CHAPTER I 

THE CRADLE OP THE SEMITES 

In approaching a study of the social and religious 
origins of the Semitic peoples, it is necessary, first of 
all, to ask: Where did the Semitic race take its rise? 
Where was it differentiated from other races, and in 
what environment of climate and soil were its early insti- 
tutions born ? Man, like all other creatures, is profoundly 
influenced by his surroundings. The sturdy character of 
the Anglo-Saxon, though for a time it may survive in the 
tropics, is not created there ; nor has the careless laziness 
of the negro been bred in the arctic north. To under- 
stand the earliest religious conceptions of the Semitic 
peoples, we must study the social organization in which 
they had their birth ; and to form a correct theory of 
their social organization, it is necessary to study its physi- 
cal environment. 

Our inquiry is, however, beset at the very threshold 
with grave difficulties. The evidence with which we 
have to deal is very slight, and is differently interpreted 
by different scholars. The best authorities widely differ. 
In recent years, four different theories as to the location 
of the Semitic cradle land have been put forward, in 
which Babylonia, Arabia, and North Africa are respec- 
tively made the primitive home of these peoples. 

1. The advocates of the Babylonian theory have been 
von Kremer, Guidi, and Hommel. 
B 1 



SEMITIC ORIGINS 



Von Kremer set forth his views in two articles pub- 
lished in 1875, in Das Ausland?- He reached his results 
from a comparison of the vocabularies of the different 
Semitic tongues. He concluded that before the forma- 
tion of the different Semitic dialects, they had a name for 
the camel which appears in all of them ; whereas they had 
no common names for the date-palm and its fruit or for 
the ostrich. The camel the Semites knew while they were 
yet one people, dwelling together; the date-palm and 
ostrich they did not know. Now the region where there 
is neither date-palm nor ostrich, and yet where the camel 
has been known from the remotest antiquity, is the great 
central tableland of Asia, near the sources of the Oxus 
and the Jaxartes, the Jaihiin and Saihiin. Von Kremer 
thinks the Semitic emigration from this region preceded 
the Aryan or Indo-European, perhaps under pressure from 
the latter race ; and he holds that the Semites first settled 
in Mesopotamia and Babylonia, which he looks upon aa 
the oldest Semitic centre of civilization. 

Similarly, the Italian Orientalist, Ignazio Guidi, wrote 
in 1879 a memoir upon the primitive seat of the Semitic 
peoples, which appeared among the publications of the 
Reale Academia dei Lincei.^ His line of argument and 
his conclusions are similar to those of von Kremer. His 
method of induction appears to have been somewhat broader 
than von Kremer's, whose work seems to have been un- 
known to him. He took into consideration the words in 
the various Semitic languages which denote the configura- 
tion of the earth's surface, the varieties of soil, the changes 
of the seasons and climate, the names of minerals and ani- 
mals. He concluded that Babylonia was the first centre of 



1 This article was published in Das Ausland, Vol. IV, ¥os. 1 and 2, 
and was entitled "Semitische Culturentlehnungen aus dem Pflanzen und 
Thierreiche. " 

2 The title of Guidi's paper was " Delia sede primitiva dei popoli Semi- 
tic!." It is inaccessible to me ; my account of it is drawn from Wright's 
Comparative Grammar of the Semitic Languages, p. 5. 



THE CKADLE OF THE SEMITES 



Semitic life, and that the primitive Semites in Babylonia 
were immigrants from the lands south and southwest of the 
Caspian Sea. This conclusion Driver, in the second edition 
of his Use of the Tenses in Hebrew} was inclined to accept. 
Not radically different from this is the view of Hommel, 
also published in 1879. Like Guidi, he held that lower 
Mesopotamia, i.e. Babylonia, and not upper Mesopotamia 
on the one hand nor Arabia on the other, was the home of 
the primitive Semitic people.'^ This view was accepted 
by Vlock in the article " Semites," in Herzog's Real- 
Encyelopedie.^ Hommel has since shifted the primitive 
home to upper Mesopotamia, and now holds that it 
was the home of these peoples before the separation 
of the Semites from the Hamites, or, at least, from 
the Egyptian branch of that stock. Egypt was, he 
thinks, colonized from Babylonia, so that the civiliza- 
tion of the former country was derived from that of the 
latter.* 

This linguistic method of investigation is, however, 
precarious. As Noldeke has pointed out, the fact that 
one word now denotes an object in all the Semitic lan- 
guages, may be due to borrowing from one tongue by 
another in remote centuries, the causes of which we can- 
not now trace, while the fact that a word is not common 
to all the languages of the group may not necessarily 
signify that the primitive Semites were ignorant of the 
object which it connotes, but may be due to the displace- 

1 Cf. p. 250 n. 

2 See his Die Namen der Sdugthiere lei den sudsemitischen Volkern, 
Leipzig, 1879, p. 406 ff. ; and Die semitischen Volkern und Sprachen, I, 
1881, p. 63. 

8 For a translation of Vlook's article see Hehraica, II, p. 147 f. 

« See his article " Ueher den Grad der Verwandtschaft des Altagyp- 
tischen mit dem Semitischen," Beitrdge zur Assyriologie, II, p. 342 ff. 
(1891-2); also "Die Identitat der altesten babylonischen und agyp- 
tisohen Gottergenealogie und der babylonischen Ursprung der agyptischen 
Kultur," Transactions of the International Congress of Orientalists, 
London, 1892, pp. 218-244 ; and his article, " Babylonia," Hastings's 
Dictionary of the Bible, 1898. 



SEMITIC ORIGINS 



ment of the term by another under circumstances which 
now escape us.^ 

2. Opposed to the view that Mesopotamia is the cradle 
of the Semites, is the view that Arabia was the primitive 
home. This theory was defended by Sprenger in 1861 ^ 
and has since been reaiBrmed by him. He regards it as 
an historical law that agriculturists do not become nomads, 
and declares that he would as soon think that the dolphin 
formerly dwelt on the height of the Alps, or the goat in 
the sea, as to think that mountaineers would become 
nomadic. Then, after describing the Nafud and the gen- 
eral features of central Arabia, he concludes : " It is of no 
importance whether the inhabitants are autochthones or 
are from other neighboring tribes, the Nejd is the fastness 
of the above-mentioned lands (Syria and Mesopotamia), 
which has impressed its character upon the Semites."^ 
In like manner, in his later work, he says : " All Semites 
are, according to my conviction, successive layers of 
Arabs. They deposited themselves layer on layer; and 
who knows, for example, how many layers had preceded 
the Canaanites whom we encounter at the very beginning 
of history?"* 

Sayce also, in 1872,^ declared: "The Semitic traditions 
all point to Arabia as the original home of the race. It 
is the only part of the world which has remained exclu- 

1 See Noldeke's Semitischen Sprachen, Leipzig, 1887, p. 3 ff. (2d ed. 
1899), and liis article, "Semitic Languages," in the Encyclopedia Bri- 
tannica, 9tli ed. 

2 See his Das Lehen und Lehre des Mohammad, Berlin, 1861, I, p. 241 H. ; 
also his Alte Geographie Arabiens, 1875, p. 293. 

^ " Gleiohveil ob die Einwohner Autochthonen sind Oder aus andern 
Gegenden stammen, das Nejd ist die Veste jener Lander, welche den 
Semiten ihren Charaltter aufgedruct haben." Leben. mid Lehre des 
Mohammad, Vol. I, pp. 242, 243. 

* " AUe Semiten sind naoh meiner Ueberzeugung abgelagerte Araber. 
Sie lagerten sioh Schiohte auf Schichte, und wer weiss, die wie vielte 
Sohichte zum Beispiel die Kanaaniter, welche wir zu Anfang der Ge- 
.schichte wahrnehmen, waren." Alte Geog. Arabiens, p. 293. 

^ Assyrian Grammar, p. 13. 



THE CRADLE OF THE SEMITES 



sively Semite." The racial characteristics — intensity of 
faith, ferocity, exclusiveness, imagination — can best be 
explained, he thinks, by a desert origin. 

Schrader, in 1873, i expressed views of the same nature. 
As a result of a long examination of the religious, lin- 
guistic, and historico-geographical relations of the Semitic 
nations to one another, he concludes that Arabia is the 
cradle of these peoples. 

De Goeje also, in his academical address for 1882,^ 
declared himself in favor of the view that central Arabia 
is the home of the Semitic race, as a whole. Like 
Sprenger, he lays it down as a rule that mountaineers 
never become inhabitants of the steppe and nomadic 
shepherds, and so rejects the notion that the Semites can 
have descended from the mountains of Arrapachitis to 
become dwellers in the plains and swamps of Babylonia. 
He shows, in contrast, how nomads are constantly passing 
over into agriculturalists with settled habitations; how 
villages and towns are gradually formed, with cultivated 
lands around them; and how the space needful for the 
pasture land of the nomad is gradually curtailed until, 
for want of land, he is compelled to go elsewhere. So 
it was, he holds, with central Arabia; and, as a result, 
its nomadic population was continually overstepping 
bounds in every direction and planting itself in Oman, 
Yemen, Sjnria, and Babylonia. Successive layers of emi- 
grants would push their predecessors farther forward until 
the whole of Mesopotamia, and even portions of Africa, 
shared the same fate. 

Wright, whose account of De Goeje's work I have 
largely reproduced, after giving a r^sum^ of this argu- 
ment, observes 2 that this process has often been repeated 
in historical times, in which Arabic emigration has flooded 

1 See his article, " Die Abstammung der Chaldaer und die TJrsitz der 
Semiten," ZDMQ., XXVII, pp. 397-424, especially p. 420 S. 
^ Het Vaderland der Semitische Volken. 
' Comparative Grammar of the Semitic Languages, p. 8. 



SEMITIC ORIGINS 



Syria and Mesopotamia. He therefore accepts the view 
that Arabia is the cradle land of the Semitic race. 

3. Still another theory, which is, in some respects, as 
will appear later, a modification of the foregoing, is that 
the earliest home of the Semites is to be found in Africa. 
Thus Palgrave holds ^ that the strong racial resemblances 
between the Arabs, Abyssinians, Berbers, etc., — espe- 
cially the form of the jaw and the small calf of the leg, — 
together with their social affinity and linguistic similarity, 
lead to the view that the pure Semites of the peninsula 
originally came from an African rather than an Asiatic 
direction. 

Similarly, Gerland reaches, on the basis of physical 
resemblances, such as the formation of the skull, and on 
linguistic grounds, the conclusion that all the Asiatic 
Semites can be traced in their beginnings to the North 
African regions. Gerland's view is in some respects 
peculiar. He holds to the racial unity of the African 
races, and regards the Semites as one of them. The Ham- 
ites and the Semites are to him one people, and even the 
Bantus are, he thinks, related to them.^ 

So G. Bertin advocated, in 1882, the view that the 
Semites and Hamites originated together in Africa, that 
the Semites crossed into Arabia, via Suez, and developed 
their special racial characteristics in Arabia Petra.^ 

Nijldeke, too, in 1887,* accepted the same view; but he 
put it forth not as a fixed theory, but as a modest hypothe- 
sis. Brinton, in 1890,^ championed this hypothesis. He 

1 Article "Arabia," Encyc. Brit., 9th ed. 

2 See tlie exhaustive article "Ethnography," Iconographic Encyc, 
Vol. I, which is a translation of the author's German work on the same 
subject. He holds that sporadic traces of prognathism and woolly hair 
among the Semites is an argument in favor of his view (cf. pp. 369, 370). 

' Journal of the Anthropological Institute, Vol. XI, p. 431 ff. 

* Die semitischen Sprache, p. 9. Also his article " Semitic Languages," 
Encyc. Brit., 0th ed. 

^ See his Cradle of the Semites, Philadelphia, 1890 ; also his Baees and 
Peoples, New York, 1890, p. 132. 



THE CRADLE OF THE SEMITES 



attempted to localize, somewhat more specifically, the 
place in North Africa whence the progenitors of the 
Semites migrated. He argued that popular tradition, 
comparative philology, ethnology, and archaeology, all 
point to "those picturesque valleys of the Atlas which 
look forth to the Great Ocean and the setting sun." His 
argument from popular tradition is based on a passage in 
the early chapters of Genesis, and is, as will be pointed 
out below, irrelevant; but his philological and ethnological 
arguments are valid, as will be shown in the proper place. 

Morris Jastrow also, in a paper published under the 
same cover with Brinton's,^ accepts the African origin 
of the Semites, although he rejects Brinton's special 
locality in the African northwest as unsupported by the 
evidence. 

Likewise, Keane,^ who regards Mauritania as the origi- 
nal home and centre of dispersion, not of the Hamites and 
Semites only, but of the whole Caucasian race, naturally 
holds that the Semites are of African origin. In his latest 
work,^ he regards south Arabia as the earliest home of the 
Semites after their migration from African soil, and there- 
fore their point of departure for their several national 
homes. Ripley, after reviewing the various opinions, 
concludes that "the physical traits of the Arabs fully 
corroborate Brinton's and Jastrow 's hypothesis of African 
descent."* 

This theory, that the primitive Semitic home was in 
Africa, is, as the late Robinson Smith pointed out,^ not 
inconsistent with the theory that Arabia was their earliest 
Asiatic home, and the point from which they dispersed. 
If they orginated in Africa, the arguments for the view 
that the Arabian peninsula was their cradle land after 

1 Cradle of the Semites. 

2 Ethnology, Cambridge, 1896, p. 392. 
8 Man, Fast and Present, 1899, p. 490. 

* The Races of Europe, New York, 1899, p. 376. 
« Wright's Comparative Semitic Orammar, p. 9n. 



SEMITIC ORIGINS 



their migration from the neighboring continent are, in a 
good degree, reeuforced. 

Lastly, Nathaniel Schmidt suggests, in a paper read at 
the Congress of Religions in Paris in 1900, that the 
Semites may have entered Arabia originally from Puaint, 
— Abyssinia and Somali, — and that they lived in Arabia 
long enough to have received their special characteristics 
from its environment. 

4. Another view — that Arabia was the original home 
of the Hamites and Semites, and that the former migrated 
thence to Africa — finds supporters among some Egyptolo- 
gists. Thus, Wiedemann holds that the autochthones of 
Egpyt were a race kindred to the Lybians, and that the 
Egyptians of the historical period came into the country 
from Arabia,! — g^^ opinion which de Morgan shares.^ 

Similarly, Erman has recently expressed his conviction ^ 
that Arabia is the home of the whole Hamito-Semitic race, 
that the Egyptian, the Berber languages, and the lan- 
guages of Somaliland and East Africa are Semitic in ori- 
gin, though of course corrupted by admixture with African 
elements. On this view, Arabia was the cradle land of 
the Hamites as well as the Semites, the Hamitic migra- 
tions to the westward antedating the Semitic migrations 
to the eastward and northward. Erman holds that this 
westward migration took place in two streams, one to 
Egypt and North Africa, the other to East Africa; while 
the poor region of Nubia possessed nothing to attract 
Semitic settlers. 



1 Cf. de Morgan's Becherches sur les origines de V Egypte,Yol. II (1897) , 
pp. 219, 223, and 228. 

2 Cf. op. cit., Vol. I, p. 196 ; Vol. II, pp. 52, 53. But cf. W. Max Miiller's 
review in Oriental Literaturzeitung, I, 78 ff. This theory has also been 
successfully combatted by Sergi ( The Mediterranean Mace, pp. 90-100) 
■who has shown that the Naqada tombs do not reveal a race different from 
the later Egyptian, but simply in an earlier stage of development. 

8 Cf. Erman's article "Die Flexion des agyptischen Verbums," in 
Sitzungsberichte der leg. Ak. d. Wiss. su Berlin, 1900, pp. 317-353, 
especially pp. 350-353. 



THE CEADLE OF THE SEMITES 



Is it possible, in view of such slight and contradictory 
evidence, and such conflicting opinions, to find on this 
matter any secure standing ground? In endeavoring to 
answer this question, we may take our point of departure 
from the kinship and differences between the Hamitic and 
Semitic languages. These groups of languages, strikingly 
different in many respects, present, notwithstanding, 
some striking resemblances. Two Egyptologists, Erman 
and W. Max Miiller, hold that the roots of the Hamitic, 
like those of the Semitic tongues, were originally tri- 
literal.i The pronoun, ordinarily the most_sui generis of 
the parts of speech in a group of languages, presents, in 
these groups, a similarity so striking as to point to an 
original identity. The verbs in each of these groups are, 
in broad outline, constructed on the same method. They 
have, for example, in each group but two inflexional forms 
for tenses, — -a perfect or aorist, which denotes that an 
action is completed, and an imperfect or durative, which 
denotes that it is incomplete. Each group treats the 
weak verbs and derivatives in analogous ways. Each 
group forms intensive stems by doubling a letter or redu- 
plicating a root and reflexive stems in which, in each 
group, the letter t is usually an important feature ; causa- 
tive and reciprocal stems are also common to both groups. 
Moreover, the general method of verbal inflexion — the 
combination of a fragment of a personal pronoun with 
the stem — is also common to both groups. The two 
groups have also the same endings for gender (masc. w, 
fem. f). Four or five of the numerals are identical, 
and fifty, or possibly seventy-five, of the actual words of 
the Old Egyptian are identical with Semitic words. ^ Both 

1 Cf. Erman, op. cit., p. 350. W. Max Miiller made the same statement 
at a meeting of the Oriental Cluh of Philadelphia in November, 1899. 

2 Thus, in Semitic, "two" is expressed by the root Sn (Arabic tn); in 
Old Egyptian, Coptic, and Tameseq, by sn; "six," in Semitic, by the 
root m (contracted except in Ethiopic, as e.g. in the Heb. SS\ in 
Hamitic, by sds (which appears in Tameseq), contracted in Egyptian to 



10 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



groups of languages form verbal nouns with a prefix m; 
each regards a certain accented syllable in each word, or 
group of words, as important, and each has therefore a 
construct state. Each group has several consonants in 
common (^Aleph, Waw, Yodh, ^ Ayin), and each writes 
without expressing the vowels in written character. ^ 

These linguistic facts prove that the Semitic and Ham- 
itic races formed one group of peoples for a considerable 
period of time after the art of speech had been developed, 
during which time the pronoun was fixed and the main 
outlines of verbal and noun inflexion were formed; but 
that they separated at a period so remote that the indi- 
vidual names for objects in the two groups of languages 
are, with few exceptions, absolutely diiferent. 

Friedrich Miiller says concerning this: "The separa- 

ss ; "seven," in North Semitic by Sb', South Semitic, s6', Egyptian, sfh; 
"eight," Semitic, Smn, smn, tmn, tmK, Coptic, smn ; "nine," North 
Semitic, tS", South Semitic, ts\ Tameseq, tzz. For other identical words 
common to Egyptian and Semitic, see Erman, ZDMQ., Vol. XLVI, 
pp. 107-126. 

1 Por full proof of these statements, the reader is referred to Friedrich 
MUUer's Grundriss der Sprachwissenschaft, Bd. Ill, Wien, 1884, pp. 226- 
417, Erman's article " Das Verhaltness des aegyptisohen zu den semi- 
tischen Sprachen," in ZDMG., Vol. XLVI (1892), pp. 93-126, and his 
Aegyptische Qrammatik, Berlin, 1894, " Die Flexion des agyptischen 
Verbums," in Sitzungsberichte d. Kg. Als. d. Wiss. zu Berlin, 1900, 
pp. 317-353 ; Steindorf's Koptische Qrammatik, Berlin, 1894, Brugsch's 
Qrammaire Hieroglyphique, Leipzig, 1872, Giovanni Collizza's Lingua 
'Afar, Vienna, 1887, Belkassen ben Sedira's Langue Kabyle, Alger, 1887, 
"Wright's Lectures on the Comparative Grammar of the Semitic Lan- 
guages, Cambridge, 1890, and Zimmern's Vergleichende Qrammatik der 
semitischen Sprachen, Berlin, 1898, passim, and esp. p. 181. Miiller 
finds three groups of Hamitic languages: the Egyptian, embracing Old 
Egyptian and Coptic ; the Lybian, embracing the Tameseq ; and the 
Ethiopio, embracing the Bedza,"t[alla, Somali, Saho, Belin, and Chamir 
tongues. Sometimes he includes, as on p. 225, the Dankali or 'Afar 
language, which ought always to be included. To the Lybian group the 
Kabyle and other Berber tongues should be added. TTuTler's list of 
Semitic languages is not as large as it should be, but this does not afEect 
his argument. 

The argument for the kinship of these tongues is well stated in Crum's 
article, "Egypt," in Hastings's Dictionary of the Bible. 



THE CRADLE OF THE SEMITES 11 

tion of the individual languages from the common origi- 
nal occurred in such a way that the primitive language 
was divided into two dialects, of which one might be 
called Hamitic and the other Semitic. While the primi- 
tive Hamitic language was, at an early time, divided into 
individual tongues, probably because of the great number 
of the individuals who spoke it, and the wide dispersion 
of the races which used it, the primitive Semitic speech pre- 
served for a long time a compact unity, probably because 
of the small number of individuals speaking it, and the 
narrow limits in which they lived. While, also, the primi- 
tive Semitic language could develop itself uniformly with- 
out foreign influx within the whole of the race which 
spoke it, the Hamitic primitive language must at an early 
time have broken up into a series of individual tongues, 
in consequence of the separation of the peoples who spoke 
it and the influx of strong foreign influences. Therefore, 
it happens that to-day the unity of the Semitic languages 
runs not only through the similarity of the articulation 
and the grammatical foundation, but also to the identity 
of roots and word-forms; while, on the other hand, the 
Hamitic languages betray the fact that they belong 
together merely by the similarity of their foundation and 
the form of their roots, less often by the identity of the 
material of the roots, and still less often by the identity of 
the roots themselves.^ This opinion is borne out by an 

1 See Miiller, op. cit., p. 225 : "Die Loslosung der einzelnen Sprachen 
von gemeinsamen Grundstooke ging derart von sioh, dass sioh zunachst 
die Grundsprache in zwei Dialekte spaltete, von denen der eine als haml- 
tische, der andere als semitische Stammsprache bezeiohnet vferden kann. 
Wahrend die hamitische Stammsprache weiderum friihzeitig, wahrsohein- 
lich in Folge der grossen Anzahl der sie redenden Individuen und der 
weiten Verbreitung der sie redenden Gesohleohter, in mehrer Dialekte, 
respective Einzelspraohen sioh spaltete, bildete die semitischen Grund- 
sprache, wahrsoheinlioh in Folge der geringen Zahl der sie redenden 
Individuen und der besohrankten Verbreitung derselben, lange Zeit eine 
geschlossene Einheit. Wahrend also die semitische Grundsprache sich 
gleichmassig ohne fremde EinflUsse innerhalb des ganzen sie redenden 
Stammes entwiokeln konnte, musste die hamitische Grundsprache in 



12 SEMITIC ORIGINS 

examination of the facts upon which it is based, and is 
accepted by scholars of eminence.-^ 

If we accept it, we are led thereby to one of two alterna- 
tives. Either the united Hamito-Semitic race lived at 
some prehistoric time in western Asia, whence a large 
number of them migrated to Africa, or they were all resi- 
dent in northern Africa, whence the ancestors of the 
Semites migrated to Asia. It will be noted that the lin- 
guistic evidence, as stated by Friedrich Miiller, favors the 
latter conclusion. The threads of identity which bind 
the Semitic languages together are, as Miiller says, such 
as to make it clear that the primitive Semitic speech was 
spoken by a comparatively small number of people who 
were for a long time sheltered from outside influences; 
while the Hamitic languages, which are much less closely 
bound together, must have been spoken by a larger and 
more widely scattered body of people. Now, it is more 
probable that a small number of people separated from the 
main body and settled in Arabia, than that the race as a 
whole originated in the latter country and the majority 
migrated to Africa. While the latter supposition is not 
impossible, it is far less likely to represent the true order 
of events. 

Gerland and others have adduced the ethnological argu- 
ment in favor of the North African origin of the Semites. 
It will be well, therefore, to ask what anthropology has to 
tell us of the larger question of the origin of man, — or at 
least of the white race, — of its primitive home, and its 

Folge der Trennung der Stamme und der machtig einwirkenden frem- 
den Einflusse f riihzeitig in eine Reihe von Einzelsprachen zerf alien. Daher 
kommt es, dass die einheit der semitisohen Sprachen nicht nur in der 
Gleichheit der Articulation und der grammatischen Anlage, sondern 
auoh in die Identitat der Stamme und Wortformen zutage tritt, wahrend 
dem gegentiber die hamitisohen Sprachen ihrer Zusammengehorigkeit 
bios durch die Gleiohheit der Anlage und Identitat der Stoff-wurtzeln, 
noch seltener in der Identitat der Stamme selbst verrathen." 

1 Cf. Peschal, Haces of Men, New York, 1888, p. 493, and Eatzel, 
History of Mankind, London, 1898, Vol. Ill, p. 182. 



THE CRADLE OF THE SEMITES 13 

differentiation from other races, in order to see whether 
any confirmation of the solution of our problem to which 
philology points can be found. 

As to the part of the globe in which human life first 
appeared, no unanimous verdict has been reached. Several 
scientists assign the beginnings of humanity, with con- 
siderable probability, to a continent which they believe 
once occupied the site of the Indian Ocean, and which 
stretched away from Borneo and the Philippines to Mada- 
gascar. This view is supported by Hagckel,^ Peschel,^ 
Ridpath,^ and Keane.* Quatrefages, on the other hand, 
holds * that man was developed from a lower order of life 
in the region "bounded on the south and southwest by the 
Himalayas, on the west by the Bolor Mountains, on the 
northwest by the Ala-Tau, on the north by the Altai 
range and its offshoots, on the east by the Kingkhan, 
on the south and southeast by the Felina and Kuen- 
Loun." 

Gerland and Brinton hold still a different theory. They 
maintain that the Mediterranean basin, including southern 
Europe and northern Africa, is the part of the earth where 
man first appeared.® Finally, Giddings ^ after a thorough 
discussion of the evidence, concludes that "the habitat of 
the homine species was probably a tropical or subtropical 
zone, which reached half-way around the earth from Java 
northwesterly to England." The discovery, in 1894, of 
Pithecanthropus erectus, a kind of missing link, in Java, 

> History of Creation, New York, 1884, Vol. II, p. 326. 

2 The Races of Men, New York, 1888, p. 32. 

' Great Baces of Mankind, Cincinnati, 1893, Vol. I, pp. 173-182. 

* Ethnology, Cambridge, 1896, p. 229 ; cf. also Suess, Anlitz der Erde, 
Leipzig, 1883, Vol. I, p. 535. ~~" " 

5 The Human Species, New York, 1890, pp. 176-177. 

* Inconographic Encyclopxdia, Vol. I, p. 29, gives Garland's view. 
Brinton's is found in his Baces and Peoples, Neio York, 1890, pp. 82-94. 
Gerland is not so specific as Brinton. He places the cradle of the race in 
Europe, but a Europe differing greatly from the present continent. 

■^ Principles of Sociology, The Macmillan Co., 1896, p. 219. 



U SEMITIC ORIGINS 



would lend some plausibility to the first or the last of these 



views. 



Fortunately our subject does not compel us to decid© 
between these contending scientists. It is becoming clear 
that the beginning of the human species is so remote that 
man was distributed at an early date over practically the 
whole earth, and that the processes of race formation have 
been so gradual and so long that it is as unnecessary 
as it is impossible to connect the cradle of the Semites 
with the birthplace of the race. 

Croll,^ by showing that the glacial epochs have been 
caused by variations in the eccentricity of the earth's 
orbit, which, from astronomical data, can be computed in 
terms of years, has given us some idea how long ago those 
men lived whose remains go back to the glacial and to 
earlier periods. This method of investigation has been 
widely accepted by scientists, many of whom have applied 
the results in ways of their own. While, therefore, their 
estimates of the antiquity of man do not agree, they are all 
sufficiently large to remove the beginnings of the species 
far from the beginnings of any of the races which now 
exist. Thus, Quatrefages^ supposes that man goes back 
to Miocene times, a geologic epoch which CroU* believes 
ended about 720,000 years ago. Fiske,^ on the basis of 
the discovery of the fossil remains of man by Ribeiro and 
Whitney in the Pliocene rocks of Portugal and California, 

1 Cf. Giddings, op. cit., p. 217. 

^ See his Climate and Time in their Geological Belations, London, 
1890, 4th ed. This work is a collection of papers, many of which had 
appeared earlier in the Philosophical Magazine and other journals during 
the ten or twelve years prior to the first edition of the book. 

• The Human Species, p. 152. 

* Climate and Time, p. .359. 

' Excursions of an Evolutionist, Boston, 1890, pp. 36, 75-77, and 148. 
Recent investigation tends to undermine the correctness of Whitney's 
inferences ; of. William H. Holmes in American Anthropologist, new 
series. Vol. I, p. 107 ff. Payne, however, holds (History of the New World 
Called America, Vol. II, p. 64 ff.) that by the glacial epoch man wa» 
present in both the old and the new worlds. 



THE CRADLK OF THE SEMITES 15 

is led, by CroU's calculations, to believe that man was as 
widely scattered over the earth as the distance between 
California and Portugal as long as 400,000 years ago. 
Keane^ estimates the age of man as from 240,000 to 
1,000,000 years, — a latitude rather startling, — Ridpath^ 
at 200,000 years, Lubbock* at hundreds of thousands of 
years ; while Gerland * thinks that the facts of ethnology 
point to at least 240,000 years. 

Some have objected that man could not have lived so 
long upon the earth without undergoing great physical 
modifications. Since Miocene times natural selection has 
transformed all the animals, and why should it not have 
transformed man, too? Yet the oldest fossil remains are 
almost identical in form with the existing races of men. 
This difficulty disappears when we remember that, as 
Wallace has pointed out,^ when once man's mind was 
developed, natural selection would cease to act upon his 
body, and would expend itself in expanding his mind. 
The approach of a glacial epoch instead of rendering him 
extinct, or developing a hairy covering for his body, would 
sharpen his wits to enable him to provide food and cloth- 
ing for himself. During the time of his existence, there- 
fore, every other form of physical life may have been 
entirely transformed by those laws of natural selection 
which have ripened his mental power. 

It is clear, from the foregoing summary of opinion, that 
we may, with perfect propriety for the purpose of the 
present inquiry, dismiss this larger subject of the origin 
of man and confine ourselves to the investigation of a 
smaller part of the question. 

If we turn our attention to the origin of the white races, 
the problem appears about as difficult for one not a profes- 

1 Ethnolnffy, pp. 56-70. 

2 Great Races of Mankind, Vol. I, p. 150. 

» Prehistoric Times, 5th ed., London, 1890, pp. 383-425. 

* leonographic Encyclopcedia, Vol. I, p. 28. 

* Natural Selection and Tropical Nature, The Macmillan Co., 1891, 
p. 180. 



16 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



sional anthropologist to handle, so little agreement has 
been reached by those who have given the subject special 
attention. Thus, Hseckel,! Peschel,^ Brinton,^ Keane,* 
and Seigi ° regard the Mediterranean basin as the cradle of 
the white races, while Ripley ® gives convincing evidence 
that there is no white race, but that at least three distinct 
white races are traceable in Europe : the Teutonic, or Homo 
Europseus, most distinctly preserved in Scandinavia; the 
Alpine (for which he rejects the name Celtic), most clearly 
preserved among the lower classes of Austria and Bavaria, 
and clearly of the same type as the prehistoric lake- 
dwellers of Switzerland;^ and the Mediterranean race, 
most clearly defined in Corsica, Sardinia, and the Iberian 
peninsula, and clearly identical with the Berber race.^ 
Ripley recognizes, as the others do, that the race of the 
south of Europe is identical with that of North Africa, 
and that it is a white race. These are, after all, the only 
points which affect our problem. Sergi holds that the 
substratum of all the population of Europe is composed of 
this Mediterranean, or Eurafric race.® 

Gerland introduces a difficulty into the problem, how- 
ever, by denying that the Semites belong to the white 
race, and would connect them with the black. Thus he 
says : " The Arabic-Africans are one ethnological race, or 
division of mankind. . . . Kai-Koin, Bantu, and Negro 
tribes exhibit the same physical characteristics as the 
Semites ; and their languages show the path by which the 
Semitic reached its goal."^** This opinion does not seem 

^ History of Creation, Vol. 11, p. 321. 
2 Races of Men, pp. 480-518. 
8 Maces and Peoples, pp. 97-139. 
* Ethnology, ch. xiy. 
' Mediterranean Mace, New York, 1901. 
<■ ITie Maces of Europe, ch. vi, especially pp. 121-130. 
' Cf. The Lake Dwellings of Europe, by Robert C. Monro, London, 
Paris, Melbourne, 1890. 

» See op. cit., pp. 247 and 276. 

' The Mediterranean Mace, New Yoi-k, Scribners, 1901. 

i» Iconographic Encyclopedia, Vol. I, pp. 369, 370. 



THE CRADLE OF THE SEMITES 17 

to rest on a sufficiently secure basis. The occasional 
prognathism and woolly hair observed among the modern 
Arabs, on which he relies,^ is much more likely due to 
mixture brought about in recent times by the Arabic slave 
raids into Africa, which have been going on for centuries. 
Travellers in Arabia testify that, in consequence of this, 
amalgamation of races is still going on there. ^ 

The Bantu languages, as described by Miiller,^ exhibit, 
so far as I can see, no real kinship to the Semitic tongues. 
The pronouns are not similar to the Semitic, as is the case 
with the Hamitic pronouns; the tenses of the verbs are 
more like those of the Aryan than those of the Semitic 
tongues, so that the similarity seems to be reduced to the 
fact that the Bantu languages have causative, reflexive, 
reciprocal, and causative-reflexive stems. These are, how- 
ever, formed, for the most part, by afformatives instead of 
preformatives, as in Semitic, and cannot be held to prove 
kinship. It seems safe, therefore, to follow the prevailing 
opinion and class the Semites with the white races. Sergi, 
moreover, has pointed out that many of the Hamites in 
North Africa are to-day blonds, and that they are probably 
native there. The pigmentation of the skin is, he believes, 
due to the altitude of the country in which a people lives.* 
If this be true, the question of complexion need not 
seriously trouble us. 

If now, with Ripley, we conclude that the Alpine race 
is identical with the race of the prehistoric lake-dwellers, 
we shall also look for the perpetuation of very ancient 
racial types in the Mediterranean race. The Mediter- 
ranean basin has at different times undergone such changes 
of level that its north and south shores have been united 
at Gibraltar, or by way of Italy, Sicily, and Tunis, or in 

1 See above, p. 6 note 2. 

» Cf. Palgrave's Central and Eastern Arabia, Vol. I, p. 452, Vol. II, 
pp.242, 272, and 302; also Doughty's Travels in Arabia Deserta, Cam- 
bridge, 1889, Vol. I, p. 553, Vol. II, pp. 80, 171, and 337. 

" Cf . Gfrundriss der Sprachivissenschaft, Vol. I, Pt. II, pp. 238 ff. 

* T%e Mediterranean Mace, pp. 59-75. 
c 



18 SEMITIC OKIGINS 



both places.^ This fact accounts for the unity of the 
fauna and flora on the two sides of the sea. At the same 
time the Sahara desert was, at least in part, submerged, 
so that the northern part of Africa was separated from the 
southern and, through long lapse of time, the life of the 
two parts of the continent became distinct. This condi- 
tion was probably terminated by the beginning of the last 
glacial epoch. It is probable that the Mediterranean race 
was, in this far-off time and under these conditions, 
developed. 

Boyd Dawkins,^ who is followed by Fiske,^ tells the 
story of the succession of the races of men in Europe in a 
most attractive way. If we could follow him we might 
enter upon some very pleasing speculations. His results 
are not admitted by the great number of anthropologists, 
however, and seem to be based on insufficient data. We 
must therefore be content to follow a more sober path. 

If we take the more sober statement of Ripley and Sergi, 
that the race still distinctly marked in Corsica, Sardinia, 
and the Spanish peninsula is identical with the Berber 
race of North Africa, we have the clew for which we have 
been seeking. The late Count von der Gabelenz,* following 
the lead of certain ethnologists who thought they detected 
racial affinities between the Basques and Berbers, endeav- 
ored to go further, and to show that the tongue of this 
little people of the Pyrenees is kindred to that of the 
Berbers of North Africa. If this could be established,^ 

1 Cf. Suess's Anlitz der Erde, Leipzig und Prag, 1883, Vol. I, p. 771 ; 
Neumahr's Erdgesckichte, Leipzig und Wien, 1890, Vol. II, p. 698 ; and 
"Wallace's Geographical Distribution of Animals, The Maomillan Co., 
1876, Vol. I, pp. 113-115, and 201 ff. 

^ Cf . his Man in Britain and his Place in the Tertiary Period, London, 
1880, pp. 161-172, and oh. vii. 

' Cf. his Excursions of an Evolutionist, pp. 39, 44-46. 

* See Die Verwandtschafl der Baskischcn mit den Berber-sprachen 
Nord-Afrikas, Brunswick, 1894. He published a previous essay on the sub- 
ject in the Sitzungsberichte der Ak. d. Wiss. zu Berlin, 1893, pp. 593-613. 

* See Brinton's Races and Peoples, p. 112, and Keane's Ethnology, 
p. 378. 



THE CKADLE OF THE SEMITES 19 

the threads which connect the Berbers with the races of 
the Iberian peninsula would be greatly strengthened; but 
his effort cannot be pronounced a success. He admits that 
the languages differ in structure of speech, in gender, and 
in most of the formatives ; but urges that they have cer- 
tain analogous laws of phonetic change, and that there is 
a resemblance in a few culture words, such as the names 
of animals and of articles of dress. These names, how- 
ever, afford no basis of argument whatever, as they may all 
have been borrowed during the Arabic-Berber occupation. 
Stumme ^ has pointed out that they seem quite as much 
Arabic as Berber — a fact which seems to make the hypothe- 
sis just advanced the more probable. The labor of von 
der Gabelenz seems to have been suggested by a mistake, 
for Ripley now comes forward and proves that there is no 
pure Basque type.^ Without the aid of philological argu- 
ments, however, we may rely upon the fact, in which all 
anthropologists agree, that the race on the two sides of 
the Mediterranean is identical. 

We noted above that the geologic changes which sepa- 
rated North Africa from Europe occurred by the beginning 
of the last glacial epoch. CroU ^ calculates that that epoch 
began about 240,000 and ended about 80,000 years ago. 
The free interchange by land necessary to make this iden- 
tity of race must, therefore, have occurred before this 
remote period, and must have been going on before that 
for a time sufficiently long to fix a racial type so constant 
that it still persists on both sides of the Mediterranean. 
During the millenniums which have elapsed since this 
epoch this race has persisted in these regions, has absorbed 
all foreign elements which have been injected into it, and 
has maintained its identity in the face of everything. 

1 Cf. Literarisches Centralblatt for 1895, p. 581. For other criti- 
cisms of von der Gabelenz's work, see Berlin philologisches Wochen- 
schrift, Vol. XXV, p. 784, The Academy, Vol. XLIV, p. 93, and Science, 
Vol. XXII, p. 77. 

' Op. cit., ch. viii. 

s Climate and Time, chs. xix and xx, especially pp. 328 and 342. 



20 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



So far as I know, the general unity of the Hamito- 
Semitic stock is not seriously questioned.^ We may grant 
that, as they moved out from their original home, they 
may have imposed their languages upon foreign tribes, 
and thus have become, in course of time, somewhat modi- 
tied at the extremities ; ^ nevertheless, the general racial 
type is well marked, showing that, on the whole, they are 
rightly classed together. Among the Hamitic peoples we 
may expect to find traces of racial mixture in Somaliland, 
among the Dankils, and the people of that region; but 
for the rest of the Hamitic stock a purer racial type appears 
to exist, and the kinship of the Hamitic tongues, which 
links the Berber languages to the ancient Egyptian and 
to those of East Africa, and through these to the Semites, 
proves that there exists either a real kinship, or that 
through conquest one race has imposed its language upon 
the rest. The latter alternative is ruled out, it seems to 
me, notwithstanding the views of Erman'^ and others, by 
the consideration that the records of a part of the Hamitic 
race go back to the very dawn of history, and that in these 
records from Egypt we have no trace of such an extensive 
conquest as would be required to account for this unity of 
language. Such a conquest would have to be early to 
allow time for the tongues to develop their striking differ- 
ences. At such an early time we have no record of a con- 
quest of large parts of North Africa, and the conditions 
for it did not exist. Further, as Sergi has pointed out,* 
the fact that the Berbers developed an independent system 

1 Sergi seems to imply that they are distinct, for example in his discus- 
sion of the Hittites and Phcenioians (Mediterranean Race, pp. 150-163), 
but he does not enter fully into the subject. 

2 See Kipley's Baces of Europe, p. 376. 

' See Sitzungsberichte d. kgl. Ak. d. Wiss. zu Berlin, 1900, pp. 350- 
353. Cf. also de Morgan and Wiedemann, in de Morgan's Becherches sur 
les Origines de VEgypte,Yo\. I, p. 196. Deniker accepts de Morgan's 
views, but is in doubt whether the Hamitic peoples originated in Asia or 
Europe. Cf. his Baces of Man, London, 1900, pp. 426, 428. 

* Mediterranean Race, p. 50 ff. 



THE CRADLE OF THE SEMITES 21 

of writing, wholly uninfluenced by hieroglyphic Egpytian, 
proves that no such conquest can ever have taken place. 
We must therefore conclude that the real explanation is 
in the fact of kinship. 

If, then, the Berbers are a real part of the Hamitic race, i 
and at the same time are a part of that Mediterranean race 1 
which has been resident in this region since the last glacial 
epoch, we have at last some secure ground on which to 
tread. It becomes clear that the southern shore of thel 
Mediterranean was the original home of the Hamito- ' 
Semitic race ; ^ that at some time since the glacial period, 
but after the germ of languages still spoken had begun to 
develop, the Semites were separated from their Hamitic i 
brethi'en, and in their migrations ultimately reached; 
Arabia, and that the more numerous Hamites gradually 
spread themselves over the northern part of Africa. Eth- 
nology thus confirms the conclusion to which the linguistic 
phenomena of the two families of languages — the Semitic 
and Hamitic — had led us; viz. that the Semites migrated 
from Africa, and not the Hamites from Asia. How long 
ago these movements began we cannot tell. If the glacial 
epoch ended 80,000 years ago, who knows how much of 
the period which has elapsed since then may not have 
been occupied by the various movements which have 
transformed the Hamito-Semitic family into the nations 
known to history? 

In this connection we may note that the arguments of 
Hommel in favor of the Babylonian origin of the Egyptian 
civilization, 2 even if they were much stronger than they 
are, would have no bearing on the point in question ; for 
if it could be proven that the oldest monuments of Egyp- 

1 So Paulitschke holds that the Hamites were autochthenes of the 
northern coast of the African continent, Beitrage zur Etlinographie und 
Anthropologic der Somdl Galla und Horari, 2ded., Leipzig, 1888, p. 7. 

2 See his article, " Ueber den Grad der Verwandtschaft des Altagypti- 
schen mit dem Semitischen," in Beitrage zur Assyriologie, Vol. II, pp. 342- 
358, and his article, " Babylonische Ursprung der agyptischen Kultur," 
in Trans. Inter. Cong. Orient., London, 1892, pp. 218-257. 



22 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



tian culture were inspired by influences from Mesopotamia, 
it would only demonstrate that there was a western move- 
ment of migration from the Tigris-Euphrates valley thou- 
sands of years later than the time of which we are speaking. 
That there have been many migrations of Semites in vari- 
ous directions, no one acquainted with early history will 
deny. Should Hommel's contention be granted, then 
(and I am by no means convinced that it should be), it 
has no more bearing on the movement in the opposite 
direction, in the remote period under discussion, than the 
Mohammedan conquest of Egypt has. 

The arguments of von Kremer, Guidi, and Hommel, 
referred to above, in favor of regarding Babylonia as the 
earliest centre of Semitic culture — the cradle of the 
Semitic race into which it was put soon after its birth 
in the high regions east of the Caspian Sea — cannot be 
regarded as credible in opposition to the Afro-Arabic 
origin. 

Their argument is met by the following objections: 
(1) It is based on linguistic data, which Bertin^ and 
Noldeke^ have shown to be precarious. It is, as Bertin 
points out, precisely the objects which are most common 
for which most synonyms exist in a language, some of 
which would survive in one of its derived tongues and 
others in another. (2) It places the primitive Semitic 
home in a region where, at the dawn of history, the 
Semites were in conflict with other races, from one of 
which many scholars hold that the resident Semites bor- 
rowed much of their civilization. These races so pro- 
foundly modified the Semitic spoken in the region that 
it has suffered more deterioration than any other Semitic 
tongue. Surely it will take more than linguistic evidence 
to convince us that the primitive home, in which the 
Semites developed those special characteristics which so 
strikingly differentiate them from other races, was in such 

* See Journal of the Anthropological Institute, Vol. XI, p. 426. 
^ Die semitischen Sprachen, p. 3 ft. 



THE CRADLE OF THE SEMITES 23 

a region. (3) This theory would compel us to believe 
that the Semites migrated from the fertile plains of Baby- 
lonia to the wastes of Arabia ; and it offers no sufficient 
motive for such migration, although it necessarily puts 
the entrance into Arabia at a comparatively late date, and 
has to face the fact that in historic times the movement 
has been all the other way. (4) It in no way satisfac- 
torily accounts for the connection between the Semitic 
and Hamitic stock, and leaves utterly unexplained the 
fact that the Hamitic languages are less closely related to 
one another than the Semitic, though all the tongues of 
the two groups are kindred. (5) The anthropological 
argument, as we have seen, is against it. 

Of the four classes of arguments by which Brinton ^ sup- 
ports his theory of the North African origin of the Semites, 
two — the traditional and the archaeological — may be 
dismissed at once. The Biblical traditions embodied in 
Genesis ii and iii, even if the word qedem could be trans- 
lated " eastward," as he supposes,^ cannot possibly refer to 
events so far in the past as the original movement of the 
Semitic from the Hamitic races. This event must have 
been separated from the Biblical writer by at least several 
thousand years — a period through which the memory of 
no uncivilized people carries a reliable tradition. The 
memory of the Biblical tradition may go back to Baby- 
lonia, and may, as we shall see in a subsequent chapter, 
refer to practices born in Arabia and perpetuated in Baby- 
lonia and elsewhere; but it certainly refers to far later 
events in the history of the Semites than their primal 
migration. His archaeological argument from the method 
of using the bow known as the "arrow-release"^ is, for 
similar reasons, of little if any significance. It is a 
practice found in many parts of the world. 

The linguistic and ethnological arguments on which 

1 The Cradle of the Semites, Philadelphia, 1890. 
" Op. cit., pp. 5, 6. 

2 Op. cit., p. 11. Cf. Jastrow's criticism of it, ibid., p. 23. 



24 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



others had laid stress before him are, as we have seen, 
valid, and in the absence of weighty reasons for any other 
view must be considered convincing. We therefore hold 
that North Africa was the home of the Hamito-Semitic 
stock.i We cannot, so far as I can see, with our present 
knowledge, settle upon any special locality there and 
claim that this rather than another was the place where 
this race first appeared.^ Its habitat must have included 
the Mediterranean coast lands, from whence it could pass 
into southern Europe. 

As has been already pointed out, the theory that Africa 
was the primitive home of the Hamito-Semitic race in no 
way conflicts with the theory of Sprenger, Sayce, De 
Goeje, and Wright, that Arabia was the specific home of 
the Semites, — the country where their peculiar character- 
istics were developed and the centre from whence the 
Semitic nations radiated to other lands. All the argu- 
ments they have urged seem to me valid, so that, as the 
late Robertson Smith perceived, though the Semites came 
from Africa, Arabia is the centre from which they spread.* 

It will be remembered that Friedrich Miiller, in the 
passage quoted from him above,* suggested that the 
greater unity which the Semitic languages present, when 
compared with the Hamitic, is probably due to the fact 
that the primitive Semitic tongue was spoken by a smaller 
number of people, who lived in a more confined area than 
was the case with the primitive Hamitic. This sugges- 
tion grows naturally out of the nature of the two groups 
of languages, and commends itself as true. It harmonizes 

1 So also Ratzel. See his History of Mankind, Vol. Ill, p. 181 ; "The 
Hamites are the aborigines of Africa." 

" Brinton holds that this race originated in the vicinity of the Atlas 
Mountains, while Sergi formerly held, and still inclines to believe, that 
East Africa, in the neighborhood of Somaliland, is their primitive home. 
Cf. Mediterranean Bace, pp. 42, 43, 70. 

8 Cf . Wright's Comparative Orammar of the Semitic Languages, p. 9 n. 
Cf. above, p. 7, n. 6. 

*p. 10 ff. 



THE CRADLE OF THE SEMITES 25 

also with the view that the Semites migrated from Africa 
(since the emigrants would naturally be few in comparison 
with those who would remain), and that within the com- 
paratively narrow confines of central Arabia they long 
lived in close contact with one another and separated 
from the rest of the world. 

One comes occasionally across a writer who holds that 
the pure Arabs entered Arabia from Abyssinia.^ If this 
means that they entered Arabia as Hamites, and were 
afterward differentiated from the Hamitic peoples, it may 
possibly be true; but if it means that Abyssinia is the 
cradle of the Semitic peoples and Arabia only its centre of 
distribution, the view, not to mention a social argument 
which will appear in a future chapter, is, for the follow- 
ing reasons, untenable : (1) The physical characteristics of 
Abyssinia'* and Somaliland are not such as to have iso- 
lated the Semites for a long period from foreign influ- 
ences in such a way as to produce the linguistic results 
which appear among them; and (2) Hamitic tribes (the 
Afars or Dankils, the Gallas, and Somalis) now lie to the 
south and southeast of the Semitic inhabitants of Abys- 
sinia, so that the Semitic population, driven in like a 
wedge, separate these Hamites from the Hamites of 
Egypt.* It is clear, therefore, that the Abyssinian 
Semites are late intruders in this region. The Geez 

iCf. the article "Arabia" in Encyc. Brit., 9th ed., and Schmidt's 
paper read before the Congress of Religions in Paris. 

2 Cf . The Sacred City of the Ethiopians, being a Becord of Travel and 
Research in Abyssinia in 1893, by J. Theodore Bent, London, 1893, in 
which are many descriptions of the country. Cf. also Ratzel's History 
of Mankind, Vol. Ill, p. 222 ff. ; and Jules Borelli, Ethiopie Meridionale, 
Paris, 1890, passim ; also Modern Abyssinia, by Augustus B. Wylde, 
London, 1901, ch. xx. 

s Brinton's Baces and Peoples, p. LSI; Gerland, Iconographio Encyclo- 
pcedia. Vol. I, p. 352 ; and Ridpath's Great Baces of Mankind, Vol. Ill, 
pp. 469-472. The objection of Erman {Sitzsungsberichte der Kgl. Ak. 
d. Wiss. zu Berlin, 1900, p. 352), following Lepsius, that the Nubians are 
non-Hamitic and also intervene between the Hamitic nations may be 
obviated by one of two considerations : either the Nubians may have 



2B SEMITIC ORIGINS 



civilization, especially in its ancient form,i has so many- 
characteristics in common with that of south Arabia, — 
characteristics, too, which appear more at home, as we 
shall show below, in Arabia, — that there can be no doubt 
but that it is the result of a westward Semitic movement 
from that country across the straits of Bab-el-Mandeb, 
and not the unmoved remnant of the primitive Semitic 
stock. 

If now it be asked what can have induced the Semites 
to enter so sterile a country as Arabia, we can only answer 
by conjectures. It must be noted that their migration 
probably occurred so long ago that the Nile valley had 
not begun to be cultivated, so that they were not tempted 
on account of the fertility of the country to stop there. 
This we infer from the fact that the language of the 
earliest monuments of Egypt is so different from the 
Semitic. The Hamitic Egyptians must have come into 
the Nile valley and developed their civilization long after 
the Semites had passed on to Arabia. ^ It is hardly prob- 
able that at that remote period Arabia was a less deso- 
late country than now. Wallace believed that the large 
treeless tracts of desert in Eastern Africa and Western Asia 
were once covered with aboriginal forests, which were 
destroyed by the abundance of camels and goats, — animals 
which are exceedingly destructive of a woody vegetation, 
— and that the loss became permanent on account of the 
absence of irrigation. ^ If Arabia was ever covered with 

entered this region after the Hamites of East Africa had gone thither, 
or their country may have been too poor to attract the Hamites, so that 
they passed them by. As Erman confesses, this is tlie real explanation. 

1 See below, ch. iv. 

^ Of course it is not impossible, as Erman {Sitzungsherichte der Ak. 
d. Wiss. su Berlin, 1900, p. .351 ff.) and Wiedemann (in de Morgan's 
Becherches sur les Origines de I'Egijpte, "Vol. II, pp. 219-228) believe, 
that a later wave of Semitic migration from Arabia may have formed 
one element in the formation of the old Egyptian civilization. It was 
probably not an important element. Cf. Sergi, Mediterranean Bace, 
pp. 90-100. 

^ Geographical Distribution of Animals, Vol. I, p. 200. 



THE CRADLE OF THE SEMITES 27 

forests, it must have been many thousands of years ago; 
and it is unlikely that the Semitic migration can be placed 
far enough back so that such an inducement can be thought 
to have led its hordes hither. As our investigation pro- 
ceeds, however, the reasons which led to this migration 
will become clear. ^ 

How long ago the Semites entered Arabia we can now 
only guess. It must have been, as we have already noted, 
after the main skeleton of Hamito-Semitic verbal forma- 
tion was formed and several of their numerals developed. 
On the other hand, it must have been some considerable 
time since the change in the contour of the continents 
had separated those members of the Mediterranean race 
resident in Europe from those resident in Africa. We 
infer this because, while the Berbers are connected with 
the other Hamitic races in language, there is no linguistic 
connection between them and any member of the Mediter- 
ranean race resident in Europe, either in ancient or modern 
times, except those Arabs and Berbers who migrated into 
Spain in the early days of Islam. Eighty thousand years 
ago (or should we say 240, 000? 2) no fixed language 
(i.e. a language sufficiently fixed to survive) had been 
developed by these Mediterranean peoples. All this 
might be true, and yet the two great families of Hamito- 
Semitic speech might have been outlined as much as they 
were when the Semites branched off, if that event be 
placed at 20,000, 30,000, or even 50,000 years ago. Any 
one of these periods would be sufficiently long, so that 
Arabia may have been a more fertile country then than 
now, and so that its present conditions may afterward 
have supervened, and still have occurred long enough ago 
to allow them thousands of years in which to indelibly 
impress on the Semite his social organization and religion. 
We shall, however, see in the next chapter some reason 
for holding that the conditions of Arabia were what they 
are now when the Semites entered the country. 

1 See below, oh. iii. ^ See above, p. 19. 



28 SEMITIC ORIGINS 

However long ago this migration may have occurred, — 
and any statement in years is a mere guess, — the peculiar 
conditions of life which the Arabian deserts and oases 
have presented for millenniums are the matrix in which 
Semitic character, as it is known to us, was born. It is 
a land of barren and volcanic mountains,^ of broad stretches 
of dry, waste, unproductive soil,^ and wide areas of shift- 
ing sand, interrupted by an occasional oasis, — a land 
where, for the most part, water is difficult to obtain, where 
famine is always imminent, where hunger, thirst, heat, 
and exposure are the constant experience of the inhabi- 
tants. The Bedawi are always underfed, they suffer 
constantly from hunger and thirst, and their bodies thus 
weakened fall an easy prey to disease;^ they range the 
silent desert, almost devoid of life, where the sun is all 
powerful by day and the stars exceedingly brilliant by 
night. This environment begets in them intensity of 
faith of a certain kind, ferocity, exclusiveness, and 
imagination. These are all Semitic characteristics wher- 
ever we find the Semites ; and there can be little doubt 
but that this is the land in which these traits were in- 
grained in the race. Here, too, the Arabic language, pre- 
served in its purity by the barriers which nature interposed 
against foreign influences, though it is by no means iden- 
tical with the primitive Semitic language, has preserved 
more characteristics of that primitive speech than any 
other Semitic tongue.* 

We conclude, then, that we must hold to the Arabic 
origin of the Semites. Taking Arabia as the Semitic 
cradle land, the course of distribution of the Semitic 
nations over the lands occupied by them during the his- 

1 Cf. Doughty's Travels in Arabia Deserta, Vol. I, chs. xiii-xvi. 

2 Cf. Doughty, op. cit.. Vol. I, p. 56. 

'See the books on Arabian travel generally; e.g. Doughty, op. cit., 
Vol. I, p. 244. 

« Cf. Schrader in ZDMa., Vol. XXVII, p. 417 ; Wright, Comparative 
Cframmar of the Semitic Languages, p. 8 ; and Vlock in Hebraica, Vol. 
II, p. 149. 



THE CRADLE OF THE SEMITES 29 

torical period would be that described by Schrader ^ and 
Wright ^ on the basis of the relative divergence of the lan- 
guages from the primitive type. The northern Semites 
— the Babylonians, Aramaeans, and Canaanites — first 
parted from their brethren in the south and settled in 
Babylonia and the neighboring regions, where they lived 
together for a long period. The Aramaeans were the first 
to separate from the main body of emigrants ; at a consid- 
erably later period the Canaanites, and, last of all, the 
Assyrians. At the same time an emigration went on in 
a southern direction. Parting from the main body in 
central Arabia, these emigrants settled on or near the 
southern coast of the peninsula, whence a band of them 
subsequently crossed into Africa and pitched in Abyssinia. 
These movements must each be considered as processes 
going on for a considerable period,^ and, in some cases, as 
in Mesopotamia and Palestine, subject to a considerable 
mixture not only of foreigners, but from Arabia directly. 

1 ZDMG., Vol. XXVII, p. 421 fi. 

2 Op. at., p. 9. 

s Cf. Robertson Smith's Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia, 
Cambridge, 1885, p. 244. 



CHAPTER II 

PKIMITrVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFB 

In primitive life the form of the clan depends upon 
economic conditions. My friend and colleague, Professor 
L. M. Keasbey, who is engaged upon a work on the eco- 
nomic origins of society, would sketch some of the differ- 
ences as follows : In protected spots where the beginnings 
of agriculture or arboriculture are possible, communities 
are formed of women and the weaker men. The stronger 
men are drawn away by more hazardous enterprises. 
Polyandry of the Nair type may prevail, and descent 
will be reckoned in the female line. This gives us the 
"communal clan." 

Where men organize for hazardous enterprises, such as 
conquest, conducting a caravan, or hunting the buffalo, 
the " republican clan " is formed. The success of the 
enterprise requires the most skilful leader, who must, 
accordingly, be chosen for his personal qualities. A few 
hardy women are taken into these clans, and polyandry 
of the Thibetan type, or communal marriage, may result. 
Descent is here counted through the father. 

Where pastoral life is possible, the care of the flocks 
leads to the formation of the "patriarchal clan." In this 
polygamy may prevail, and descent is reckoned through 
the father. 

The late W. Robertson Smith, in beginning his discus- 
sion of the relations of gods and men in the oldest Semitic 
communities, takes the clan as the earliest social unit.^ 
For historical times this view is amply justified by the 

1 The Religion of the Semites, 2d ed., London, 1894, p. 35. 
30 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 31 

evidence, and there is much reason to believe, as we shall 
see, that it extended far back into prehistoric times. In 
Babylon it is true that at the very dawn of history cities 
had superseded, at least in form, the communal clan 
organization; but this was due to the fact that the rich 
soil and abundant water of the Tigris-Euphrates valley 
made agriculture easy, and paved the way for a civilization 
which gradually outgrew the tribal stage. Whether the 
Semites originated this civilization or borrowed it, has no 
bearing on the fact that they were influenced by it. In 
the earliest times, however, the town life did not materi- 
ally modify the communal clan life. Cities, whether in 
Babylonia^ or in Palestine,^ were at first simply fortified 
dwellings of clansmen. 

Through many sources clan organization may be traced 
in the other parts of the Semitic domain. Thus, in the 
genealogical lists of the Old Testament, we can trace, as 
scholars now generally recognize, the clans of which the 
Israelitish tribes were composed, since the writers, in 
accordance with the patriarchal ideas of their own times, 
have personified the nation as a man, tribes as his sons, 
and clans as his grandsons or descendants. Sometimes 
these clans can, with probability, be traced in extra- 
Biblical sources, as Heber and Malkiel, clans of the tribe 
of Asher, in the El-Amarna tablets;^ but whether they 
can be so traced or not, there is no doubt but that the 
names represent clans. Clans not mentioned in the Bible, 
which once dwelt in Syria and Palestine, are also men- 
tioned in the El-Amarna correspondence, such as the " Sons 

I Of. Winckler's Altorientalische Forschungen, 1st ser., p. 232 ff. 

* See the remarks of Robertson Smith in the Journal of Philology, 
Vol. IX, p. 92. 

' They appear in several letters as Mahiri and Malki-ilu. For the 
Hehrew names cf . Gen. 46'', Nu. 26^^^ j Chron. V^i. For the cuneiform 
references, cf. Schrader's KB., Vol. V, pp. 302-313. On the identification, 
cf. Jastrow, in JBL., Vol. XI, pp. 119-122. Reisner {JBL., Vol. XVI, 
pp. 143-145), following HaI6yy, makes them Cassites, but this does not 
seem to me so probable. 



32 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



of Ebed-Ashera,"i " Sons of Labapa,"^ " Sons of Arzawa,"' 
etc. These letters give us a picture of a seething mass of 
clans, each struggling for the supremacy of Palestine. 

Such lists as that of Gen. 36 attest the same organ- 
ization for ancient Edom. The clan organization of the 
whole of Arabia is attested in many ways. One evidence 
of it is the list of names in Gen. 25^^^; while proof, 
if possible of a still more convincing character, is found 
in the Aramaic inscriptions brought from Hegra and 
vicinity.* Claudius Ptolemy, in his "Geography," in 
describing Arabia, gives a long list of nations which 
must, as Robertson Smith pointed out, have been clans in 
an easy state of flux, for by the time of Mohammed their 
names had all disappeared.^ The existence of clans for 
this region is also attested by the Sabsean inscriptions, 
which have in recent years been recovered.^ 

Wherever in the dawn of history we can catch glimpses 
of the Semites before the life of the cities had obliterated 
more primitive traits, the clan is the unit of organization. 

In Arabia, where, to the present time, the physical con- 
ditions make a high degree of civilization impossible for 
a large portion of the inhabitants, the same social organiza- 
tion prevails. While the tribe has become the larger 
unit of organization in the community, the conditions of 
existence are such that clans, often exceedingly small, 
live, move, and act together under the guidance of their 
own sheik, who holds a position of somewhat ill-defined 
subordination to the sheik of the tribe. '^ This organiza- 
tion is so ingrained into the constitution of Arabic life, 

1 KB., Vol. V, pp. 154, 155, e.g. Perhaps afterward the tribe of 
Asher. See Chapter VI. 

2 Ibid., pp. 306, 307, and 310-311. 
8 Ibid., pp. 310-311. 

< See CIS., Pt. II, Vol. I, Nos. 197, 198, 209, 215, and 221. 
* See his Kinship, eta., p. 2.39. 

' Cf. CIS., Pt. IV, Vol. I, Nos. 2", 292'8 (emended text), 406, 41*, etc. 
' Cf. Doughty's Arabia Beserta, Vol. I, pp. 136, 251, and chs. ix-xii 
and xiv-xvi, passim. 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIEE 33 

that it has suryived the influences of Islam, of migration, 
and of exposure to civilization, and still appears wherever 
Arabs are found to-day. Clan organization exists, or has 
existed in all parts of the world, and is recognized by- 
sociologists as the simplest and earliest form of social 
integration. 1 We may assume, therefore, that it existed 
among the primitive Semites in their united home. 
Indeed, if Keasbey is right in his estimate of the forces 
which have made man social,^ Arabia never could have 
supported a population of any size without it. A semi- 
agricultural cultivation of the palm in the oases was, as 
will be shown below, the chief food supply of the Arabs 
almost, if not quite, from the time of their settlement in 
the peninsula. No company of men could gain possession 
of an oasis and hold it for cultivation without organiza- 
tion for defence. Such an oasis would not support them 
the year around ; they must either hunt or keep flocks and 
herds. In Arabia, as will be pointed out below, there was 
little hunting. If flocks and herds were kept, they must 
be led forth to pasture. While some were cultivating the 
oasis, others must take the more dangerous part of leading 
the flocks and herds out to graze. This latter task 
would naturally fall on the younger and more hardy men. 
Keasbey has shown that it was under such conditions that 
clans, or artificial brotherhoods, were formed. ^ We have 
present, therefore, in Arabia from the start those economic 
conditions in which the clan is forced into existence, and 
may rest assured that we are treading on firm ground when 
we assert that the clan organization was a part of primitive 
Semitic life. 

Giddings * regards the clan as having for its nucleus an 
actual group of brothers and sisters, who form a totemic 

1 See, e.g. Giddings's Principles of Sociology, p. 258 ff. 

2 See his article, "The Institution of Society" in the International 
Monthly, Vol. I, pp. 355-398. 

« Ibid., pp. 385-398. 

* Principles of Sociology, pp. 270-272. 



34 SEMITIC OEIGINS 



kindred and constitute a household; Keasbey,^ as a brother- 
hood, artificial in organization, though not necessarily of 
different stocks, who have selected the totem as a kind of 
Shibboleth. Whatever the beginning of such a brother- 
hood, its development is admirably sketched by Giddings.^ 
It forms at first an economic group, vi^ho aid one another 
in obtaining food and redressing wrongs. The kinship of 
such families is usually, among savages, reckoned through 
the mother and not through the father. At a time too 
remote for us to detect the origin of the practice, says 
Giddings, natural brotherhoods are, by expulsion and 
adoption, arising doubtless from economic causes, con- 
verted into artificial fraternities; according to Keasbey 
they were such from the first. These brotherhoods ac- 
quire, in the animistic stage of culture, a peculiar sanc- 
tity through the belief that men are akin to supernatural 
beings. The belief that the individual is akin to his 
totem reacts on his conception of human relationship; 
and in time, though the members of a family may have 
individual totems, the household regards itself as a unit, 
and comes to have its collective totem in addition to these. 
Adoption, then, becomes a more sacred ceremony ; exogamy, 
if practised before for other reasons, now becomes a reli- 
gious obligation, since it is sanctified by the totem ; thus, 
all the practices of the fraternal group assume a more ob- 
ligatory character. From time to time, the members of 
such a household would encounter others who had acci- 
dentally hit upon the same totem. These, they reason, 
must be their brothers and sisters, since they are kindred 
to the same totem as themselves. Thus, the brotherhood, 
with all its privileges, rules of marriage, and obligations 
for mutual protection, is enlarged. In a generation or 
two there exists in such a group all varying degrees of 
kinship, and the totemic clan is complete. 

These descriptions of the genesis of the clan in general 
may be taken as a tolerably accurate description of the 
1 Op. cit., p. 393 ff. 2 Op. cit., pp. 270-272. 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LITE 3a 

Semitic clan. The proof of this on the social and eco- 
nomic side will appear as we proceed. We may note now, 
however, some of the proofs of Semitic totemism. These 
have been more fully presented by the late Eobertson 
Smith than by any other writer.^ He regards the proof of 
totemism complete when we find : (1) " Stocks named after 
plants and animals ; (2) the prevalence of the conception 
that the members of the stock are of the blood of the 
eponym animal, or are sprung from a plant of the species 
chosen as totem; (3) the ascription to the totem of a 
sacred character, which may result in its being regarded 
as the god of a stock, but at any rate makes it to be re- 
garded with veneration, so that, for example, a totem 
animal is not used for ordinary food."^ Taking these as 
guides. Smith found many Arabic tribes bearing the names 
of animals as stock names, ^ and many traces in the Old 
Testament of the same thing.* These names form a strik- 
ing and impressive list, and form, with the names derived 
from gods, a large proportion of Arabic personal and stock 
names.® He also found that many Arabs believed them- 
selves to be descended from such animals as the fox, wolf, 
and hyena, and that some of them bewailed a dead gazelle 
as a relative.® The third link in the proof is nearly want- 
ing because of the veil which Mohammedan sources draw 
as far as they can over the old heathenism. The nearest 
approach to it which he found in Arabia was the existence 
of two or three gods in animal form. Thus, Yaguth, the 
lion-god, was worshipped in the time of the prophet by 

1 In an article in the Journal of Philology, Vol. IX, entitled " Animal 
Worship and Animal Tribes among the Arabs and in the Old Testament," 
and in his Kinship and. Marriage in Early Arabia, ch. vii. He has 
been followed by Jacobs in his Studies in Biblical Archeology, London, 
1894. 

2 Kinship, p. 188. 

» Journal of Philology, Vol. IX, pp. 79-88, and Kinship, pp. 192-201. 
« Journal of Philology, Vol. IX, pp. 89-100. 
6 Of. Smith's Kinship, p. 202. 
• Ibid., pp. 203-205. 



36 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



several different tribes. Ya'uq, according to commen- 
tators, was an idol in the form of a horse, while Nasr was 
said to have the figure of a vulture.^ This is as near as we 
can come to direct proof. As Smith pointed out, there is 
some indirect proof in the fact that the jinn, who are said 
in the Qur'an (Bi"") to have been partners with God, and 
therefore probably old deities degraded, are generally 
conceived in monstrous and hairy forms. ^ 

Among the Hebrews the survivals of totemism do not 
form so complete a chain of proof for its existence, but 
there are a number of sporadic traces of it in the Old 
Testament which confirm the argument drawn from the 
Arabic material. There are a number of animal names, 
like Leah, Rachel, and Caleb, which were borne by reputed 
ancestors of clans ; and in Ezekiel (8^") and Isaiah (66") 
we have traces of an old animal worship revived in times 
of distress, which seems to be a survival of totemistic 
deities.^ 

The Old Testament affords some evidence that similar 
conceptions were entertained by neighboring Semitic 
tribes. Thus Oreb and Zeeb (the Raven and the Wolf) 
are, in Judges (7^^), the names of Midianitish chieftains. 
So Epher (the fawn or calf of the wild cow) is a Midian- 
ite, Judsean, and Manassite clan.* Many others might be 
cited if space permitted the reproduction of the investiga- 
tions on this subject.^ Although the proof from the Old 
Testament is not so complete as from Arabia, yet two out 
of the three necessary classes of evidence are found. 

1 Cf. Kinship, pp. 208, 209, and Wellhausen's JReste arabische Heiden- 
tums, 2d ed., Berlin, 1897, pp. 19-23. 

2 Kinship, p. 211. 

' Cf. Smith's Beligion of the Semites, 2d ed., p. 357, Cheyne's " Isaiah," 
in Haupt's SBOT., p. 200, n. 5, and Toy's "Ezekiel," in SBOT., p. 110, n. 7. 

* Cf. Gen. 25*, 1 Chron. 4", 6^, and Robertson Smith in the Journal 
of Philology, Vol. IX, p. 91. See also Gesenius, Handworterbuch, 13th ed., 
Leipzig, 1899, which follows Smith. 

6 Cf., in addition to Smith and Wellhausen, the list in Jacohs's St'udies 
in Biblical Archoeology. 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 37 



In other Semitic countries occasional sporadic traces 
are found which point in the same direction. Thus, 
among the Guti or Suti, a tribe on the east of Babylonia, 
the goddess Ishtar was represented in the form of a lion 
or riding on a lion.^ In the Gilgamish epic, which, as 
we now have it, centres in the city of Erech in southern 
Babylonia, Ishtar marries now a bird, now a lion, now a 
horse, and tries to marry a man,^ — facts which point to a 
totemistic circle of ideas. At Eryx, in Sicily, Ashtart 
was thought to have the form of a dove,^ and at Tyre, the 
head of a bull.* It is to such a conception that the book 
of Tobit (1^) alludes when it tells how people sacrificed 
to "She-Baal, the cow."^ In the same class of evidence 
we should probably put the calves at Bethel and Dan 
which were said to be images of Yahwe (1 Kgs. 

1228). 

These reasons, slight as they may seem, come from 
widely different parts of the Semitic territory, and are, for 
that reason, significant. Sporadic traces of totemism so 
widely scattered can only be explained by supposing that 
the primitive clans in their old Arabian home were totem- 
istic. Indeed, it is possible that this stage had been 
reached before the Hamites separated from them, for the 
well-known animal worship of the Egyptian nomes, in 
which each nome worshipped a different animal, is posi- 
tive proof of the existence of totemism among that people.® 

1 Cf. Hehraiea, Vol. X, pp. 26, 27. This and other evidence of a simi- 
lar character was collected in my " Semitic Ishtar Cult," puWished in 
Vols. IX and X of Hebraica. 

2 Cf. Hehraiea, Vol. X, p. 5, and Jastrow's Beligion of Babylonia and 
Assyria, Boston, 1898, p. 482. 

2 Cf. jElian, Be Natura Anamalium, IV, also Hebraica, Vol. X, p. 49. 

* Cf. the extracts from Philo of Biblos, published by Orelli as Sanchn- 
niathonis Fragmenta, p. 30, really taken from the Prmp. Evang. of 
Eusebius, Bk. I, 10, 31, Josephus's Antiquities, 8, 5, 3, Against Apion, 
1, 18, also Hebraica, Vol, X, p. 31. 

^ Tj BtiaX Trj da/idXei. 

8 The attempt of Robert Brown, Jun., Semitic Influence in Hellenie 
Mythology, Williams & Norgate, London, 1898, p. 56 ff., to prove that 



SEMITIC ORIGINS 



The early culture of Egypt embalmed this system for our 
study as the amber of the Baltic sometimes embalms a fly; 
and the fact that the totemic system of thought appears 
both among the Semites and the Hamites makes it pos- 
sible that before the separation of the two branches of the 
Hamito-Semitic race the totemic clan had already been 
developed. This possibility will again confront us at a 
later point; but however it may be determined, we are 
justified in holding that the totemic clan was the primitive 
Semitic social organization. 

The economic purpose for which the clan organization 
was formed by the primitive Semitic folk was the defence 
of their date-growing oases and their domestic animals 
in their pasture lands, or for the attack of similar pos- 
sessions of their neighbors. In a country where the con- 
ditions of life are as hard as they are in Arabia, the 
population has again and again, far back into prehistoric 
times, become too numerous to be supported by the sterile 
soil. Some who were pushed away from the oases or 
better pasture lands were compelled to plunder others for 
a living, until at last the pressure from within forced a 
wave of emigration through some convenient channel into 
another territory. These conditions down to the present 
time force many Arabs to become robbers, and make bands 
armed for plunder the terror and often the destruction of 

totemism never existed in Egypt, (1) because no real Egyptologist believes 
it, and (2) because Strabo (XVII, 40) says that all worshipped the ox, 
cat, hawk, and ibis, is a signal failure. Were it true that no Egyptologist 
believes totemism to have existed in Egypt, it would only prove that 
Egyptologists allow themselves a narrow range of studies, so that the 
facts of anthropology escape them. It is doubtful whether this charge 
can justly be brought against them. Cf. e.g. Maspero's Mtudes de 
Mythologie d'Archeologie Egyptienne, Paris, 1893, Vol. II, p. 277. 
Maspero's statement that their myths are of the same sort as those 
of the savages of the old and new world, is very like a confession 
of a belief in totemism. Strabo was a late writer, and, by his time, 
political unity had created syncretism so that the gods of some locali- 
ties had obtained universal recognition ; accordingly his statement 
proves nothing. 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 39 

the nomad's life,^ and must have operated among the 
primitive Semites much as they do to-day. Thus, then 
as now, clans must exist for mutual protection. Some of 
these would settle on an oasis, and their older and weaker 
men would aid the women in cultivating the date-palm, 
while the more hardy of the men led the small flocks and 
herds out into the neighboring pasture lands.^ Those 
who were so unfortunate as to obtain no oasis would wan- 
der up and down with their flocks and herds seeking 
pasturage and plunder as opportunity offered. 

In theory, such economic conditions should produce all 
three classes of clans : the communal, for the cultivation 
of the oases ; the republican, for defence and for caravan 
trade; and the pastoral, for the part of the population 
which could obtain no oasis. All these types were, as we 
shall see, in time produced, but the dependence of all 
classes on the oases would, in Arabia, long hold the for- 
mation of the republican and patriarchal type of clan in 
check, and enable the communistic clan to exert such an 
influence as to leave its stamp upon the organization of 
society. Indeed, it is probable that for unnumbered cen- 
turies the clans which were deprived of the privileges of 
oases found life so hard that the conquest of other coun- 
tries became for them a necessity, even before the repub- 
lican or patriarchal type had become fully fixed. These 
facts will come out more fully as we proceed. 

When we go a step farther back and seek to determine 
the constitution of the primitive Semitic family, we are 
met by greater difficulties. Those who have labored in 
this field hitherto have worked with the sociological 
theory of McLennan,^ who held that in the primitive con- 

1 Of. Doughty's Arabia Deserta, Vol. I, pp. 345, 489, 505, etc. ; also 
Sale's The Koran, p. 24. 

!" Of. Payne's History of the New World called America, Vol. II, 
p. 7 fE., and Keasbey, in the International Monthly, Vol. I, p. 390 ff., for 
analogous examples. 

' Cf. G. A. "Wilken's Het Matriarchaat bij de Oude AraUeren, Am- 
sterdam, 1884 ; W. R. Smith's Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia, 



40 SEMITIC OEIGmS 



dition of man the relation of the sexes to one another was 
one of unrestrained promiscuous intercourse; that this 
was succeeded by a state of polyandry, and this, in turn, 
by the practice of polygamy, out of which monogamic 
marriage has grown. ^ This view presupposed that in the 
development of society the relation between the sexes had 
everywhere advanced according to one general law. In 
the polyandrous state of society it was found that kinship 
was reckoned through the mother, and it was inferred that 
woman, and not man, was the head of the clan. Thus, it 
was supposed that a matriarchate everywhere preceded 
a patriarchate, and that in the evolution of society the 
relative position of the sexes has been reversed. 

More recent investigators of social problems are, how- 
ever, unanimous in the opinion that polyandry is not a 
social condition through which all mankind has passed, 
but a phenomenon of social evolution which, under very 
special conditions, has appeared among a few races only.^ 
The evidence on the matter seems overwhelmingly in 
favor of the latter view. It cannot, however, be repro- 
duced here, but must, to be appreciated, be studied in the 
works of special students of the subject.^ It appears, 
therefore, that the real matriarchate is comparatively rare. 
Among a few peoples, like the Nairs of the Malabar coast, it 
seems really to exist,* and in such families as those of the 

Cambridge, 1885 ; and an article of the writer's, " The Kinship of Gods 
and Men among the Early Semites," in the JBL., Vol. XV, p. 
168 ff. 

^ See, e.g., MoLennan's Studies in Ancient History, Macmillan & Co., 
1886, oh. viii. 

2 See Spencer's Principles of Sociology, Vol. I, p. 660 (Am. ed., New 
York, 1897) ; Staroke's Primitive Family, New York, 1889, p. 139 ff. ; 
Letourneau's The Evohition of Marriage and the Family, New York, 
p. 320 ff. ; Westermarck's The History of Human Marriage, Mac- 
millan & Co., 1891, pp. 459 and 505-508; Lubbock's The Origin of 
Civilization and the Primitive Condition of Man, 5th ed., New York, 
1892, p. 143 ff.; and Giddings's Principles of Sociology, pp. 155 and 276. 

8 Ibid. 

* Cf. Reclus's Primitive Folk, New York, 1891, p. 165. 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 41 

Andaman islanders ^ it would be the natural outcome of 
the unorganized condition of society. It frequently hap- 
pens where polyandry is practised that the brother of the 
mother is the head of the family, and rears his sister's 
children, so that there is an avunculate rather than a 
matriarchate. 

The late W. Robertson Smith, the great investigator of 
this phase of Semitic life, in whose tracks others of us 
have followed at a distance, and "non passibus sequis," 
based his investigations on the theory of McLennan ; and 
though many of his results are permanent, and the mass 
of material he collected invaluable, yet, in the light of the 
present state of the science of sociology, the whole subject 
merits a new examination. 

Westermarck ^ and Giddings^ appear to be right in 
holding that the family of primitive man was an inter- 
mediate development between that of the highest animals 
and the lowest living men. In the lowest existing human 
societies the usual form of marriage is a temporary mo- 
nogamy.* It is improbable that back of this there was a 
time when the marriage relations, taking mankind as a 
whole, were less clearly defined, since temporary mar- 
riages of this character appear among the higher apes.^ 
It is possible — and a possibility of which writers on soci- 
ology take too little notice — that increased intelligence 
on the part of man may in some races have introduced into 
sexual relations degenerate practices. Higher mental 
power is, in the first instance, usually devoted to increased 
gratification of appetite, until the growth of moral senti- 
ment brings the power of intelligence under the sway of 
worthy aims. It may easily have been, therefore, that 
human intelligence first, in some instances, exercised 

1 See Giddings's Principles of Sociology, p. 266. 

2 History of Human Marriage, pp. 14, 15, and 50. 
8 Principles of Sociology, p. 264. 

4 Ibid. 

' History of Human Marriage, pp. 14, 15, and 50. 



42 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



itself in gaining more frequent gratification for sexual 
desire. It is not likely that this would overthrow the 
kind of family organization which had obtained among 
our prehuman ancestors, since the economic necessities 
of life would be sufficient, in most parts of the world, to 
insure the union of father and mother until the mother 
and child could obtain food for themselves. It would, 
however, tend to produce lawlessness in sexual relations, 
which would bring into existence a sort of promiscuity by 
the side of the primitive temporary monogeimy. This 
promiscuous intercourse would, on the part of the men, be 
participated in by those of all ages; while among the 
women it would be more often the young who would 
indulge, for these would more often attract by their beauty, 
— which in such communities quickly fades, — and both 
desire and inexperience of the consequences would lead 
them in this direction. This freedom has, I think, been 
perpetuated among those peoples who attach a religious 
significance to an act of free love on the part of their 
women before marriage. 

That something like this occurred in the develop- 
ment of the Semites, two facts make probable: (1) the 
tendency of the early Semitic peoples to sexual excesses, 
a trait which points to an early bent in this direction ; and 
(2) the fact that in the Ishtar cult in several different 
Semitic countries a religious importance was attached to an 
act of free love on the part of woman before she entered wed- 
lock. Thus, Herodotus, Strabo, and the apocryphal letter 
of Jeremiah tell us that every Babylonian woman must once 
in her life offer herself in the temple of the goddess to 
whatever man might come.^ Ephraim,^ the Syrian, affirms 
the same practice among the Arabians in their worship of 
the mother goddess; and Augustine, in describing the 

^ See Herodotus, Bk. I, oh. 199 ; Strabo, Bk. XVI, ch. l^o, and the 
Epistle of Jeremiah, vv. 42, 43. Cf. Hebraiea, "Vol. X, pp. 20, 21, and 
JBL., Vol. X, p. 79 ff. 

2 Opera, Vol. II, pp. 458, 459. Cf. Hebraiea, Vol. X, pp. 58, 59. 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 43 

feast of the mother of the gods among the Carthaginians, 
makes it probable that the custom also existed there. ^ 
Herodotus, in the passage cited, says that the custom is 
also found in parts of Cyprus. We know that a kindred 
goddess was worshipped there,^ and it was no doubt in 
connection with her worship. Lucian vouches for the 
existence of the custom at Byblos, the old Phoenician 
Gebal, but tells us enough to show that it had there under- 
gone certain modifications ; a woman who did not wish to 
sacrifice her chastity might sacrifice her hair.^ 

This custom, thus widely extended, is pretty good proof 
that the practice in question goes back to primitive Semitic 
times. This view is confirmed by a passage in the Gil- 
gamish epic. In the second tablet of this poem there is a 
description of how Eabani, a wild man of the mountains 
or a primitive man, was enticed from the beast with which 
he had previously satisfied his passion,* by an emissary of 
the goddess Ishtar.^ The fact that primitive man is here 
regarded as having promiscuous intercourse with the ani- 
mals is in itself a testimony to its existence among human 
beings. Jastrow holds that there is a reflection of this, 
or a similar story, in Gen. 2, where he believes the 
original form of the narrative represented man as having 
intercourse with the beasts until woman was brought to 
him; and that then he abandoned the animals and became 
"one flesh " with her.^ This view has much to commend 

1 See his Be Civitate Dei, Bk. 11, ch. iv. Cf. Hehraica, Vol. X, pp. 50, 51. 

2 Cf. Hebraica, Vol. X, pp. 42-47, and Journal of Hellenic Studies 
for 1888, pp. 175-206. 

" Lucian's Be Syria Bea, § 6 ff. 

* That this is the meaning of the passage Jastrow has pointed out, 
AJSL., Vol. XV, p. 202. 

» See Haupt's Nimrodepos, Leipzig, 1884, pp. 10, 11 ; Jeremias's Izdu- 
bar-Mmrod, Leipzig, 1891, pp. 15-18 ; Hehraica, Vol. X, pp. 2, 3 ; 
Jastrow's Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, pp. 477, 478 ; and Jensen, 
In Sohrader's KB., Vol. VI, Berlin, 1900, pp. 125-127. According to 
Jensen's reconstruction of the poem, the passage is in the first tablet. 

" See Jastrow's article, "Adam and Eve in Babylonian Literature," 
AJSL., Vol. XV, pp. 207, 208. 



44 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



it. The presence in the Gilgamish epic of a female 
priestess whose life is consecrated to this impure service 
reveals the existence of an institution which could hardly 
fail to grow out of the conditions which we have supposed 
to exist. From the earliest times there must have been, 
as there are now, women who, for one reason or another, 
gave their lives to the satisfaction of desire. Under 
primitive conditions this would be done much more freely 
than now, since there could not be much, if any, public 
opinion against it. Such religion as these early men had 
would, in the lapse of time, preserve, through the con- 
servatism of mankind with regard to religious practices, 
these conditions under the guise of sacred service far 
beyond the state of society in which they had their birth ; 
and thus present the anomaly which we find in so much 
of ancient Semitic life, of an impure priestess ministering 
in a community whose marriage ideal was relatively pure. 
The Eabani episode is one of the oldest strata ^ of a 
poem, the later parts of which are some four thousand 
years old, and may well be held to reflect tolerably primi- 
tive ideas. We cannot be far wrong, therefore, if we 
hold, on the evidence presented, that in one of the earliest 
stages of Semitic development — a stage reached perhaps 
before their separation from the Hamites — such a strong 
tendency to unregulated intercourse existed, and that 
its results are seen in the religious practices which sur- 
vived here and there far down into historic times. In 
Oman, where Mohammedan influences are felt less than 
in the most of Arabia, maiden virtue is, according to Pal- 
grave, still of little account.^ Sprenger cites a curious 
passage from Yaqut,^ with regard to the town of Mirb§,t, 

1 Cf. Jastrow's Religion of babylonia and Assyria, pp. 474-478, 513. 

=! Cf. Palgrave's Central and Eastern Arabia, Vol. II, p. 267. 

' Cf. Sprenger's Alte Geographie Arahiens, p. 97. For the original 
see Jacut's Geographisches Worterbuch, ed. "Wilstenfeld, Leipzig, 1869, 
Vol. IV, p. 482. Noldeke also admits {ZDMG., Vol. XLV, p. 1.55), 
that among the Semites a kind of prostitution was practised without 
shame. 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 45 

in the course of which it is said : " Their women go each 
night to the outer part of the city and devote themselves 
to strange men, and sport with them the greater part of 
the night. The husband, brother, son, and nephew goes 
by without taking notice, and entertains himself with 
another." This must have been a survival, under some- 
what changed conditions, of the primitive tendency of the 
Semites to unregulated indulgence. 

That there existed a temporary monogamy, such as 
sociologists postulate for the earliest human families, side 
by side with this unregulated intercourse, can also be 
shown to be true. Whether living in an oasis or wander- 
ing from place to place in the deserts of Arabia, women 
would be, from the earliest times, needed to perform the 
drudgery of the household and the camp, that the men 
might be free for those duties everywhere considered more 
manly by savages and barbarians — the duties of fighting 
for defence or plunder. These women must have been, in 
the earliest period, the mothers and sisters of the men, and 
not their wives, for ancient Semitic marriage was every- 
where exceedingly temporary and divorce extremely com- 
mon, — facts which show that the primitive Semitic 
marriage tie was an evanescent bond. These facts are 
abundantly attested by the Old Testament, the Baby- 
lonian contracts, the Qur'an, by numerous instances in 
Arabic life, and by the condition of Abyssinian society at 
the present time. 

Among the Israelites of the Old Testament the senti- 
ment seems to have been somewhat against divorce ; and 
yet the law of Deuteronomy ^ makes it so exceedingly easy 
that it evidently points back to a time when divorce was 
much more common. 

Among the Babylonians the frequency of divorce is not 

so easy to trace, since we have not, as in Deuteronomy, 

general statements of law, but must draw our inferences 

from the study of special cases. Nevertheless, in the few 

I Deut. 241-3. cf. Isa. 50i. 



46 SEMITIC OKIGINS 



marriage contracts and records of Babylonian divorce 
which have been studied, a sufficient number of instances 
appear to make it clear that divorce was not uncommon. 
Peiser has pointed out that two tablets in the British 
Museum reveal, upon comparison, that a woman who had 
been married to one man was within eight months married 
to another, while the first was still living. ^ The fact, 
too, that provisions for divorce were usually introduced 
into the marriage contracts of those women who married 
without a dowry, is clear proof that divorce was so com- 
mon in Babylonia that women were compelled to protect 
themselves against it in the marriage contract.^ Where 
the woman carried to the husband a dower, this was not 
necessary, since in Babylonian law the dowry was always 
hers, so that in case the husband divorced her he would 
lose it. In such cases the self-interest of the husband was 
thought to be a sufficient protection to the wife.^ 

The evidence from the Arabs is more abundant and, 
from sources both ancient and modern, is of the same 
character. The Qur'an contains two passages which attest 
the frequency of divorce. Sura 65i"^ takes it for granted 
that divorces will be frequent, and provides that the 
woman shall not be sent forth burdened with the prospects 
of motherhood; while Sura 33*^ supposes that men may 
frequently divorce their wives for whims after marrying 
them, but before marriage relations have really been estab- 
lished. The custom of divorce for any cause, at the 
wish of the husband, was, in the time of the prophet, too 
thoroughly fixed in Arabic custom, and too congenial 

1 See his Babylonische Mechtsleben, Berlin, 1890-8, Vol. II, pp. 13-15. 
The first of these texts is published in Strassmaier's Babylonische Texte, 
Heft VII, No. Ill ; the second is, so far as I know, unpublished. 

2 Cf. Strassmaier, ibid., No. 183, and Inschriften Nabuchodonosor, No. 
101 ; also, Peiser, op. cit., Vol. IV, pp. 12, 13 ; and Merx in Beitrage zur 
Assyriologie, Vol. IV, pp. 4-8 ; and my article on "Contracts," §§ viii, 
ix, in Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, Aldine ed., New York, 1901. 

8 See my remarks in the article on "Contracts," § ix, in Assyrian 
and Babylonian Literature. 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 47 

to the natures of the prophet and his followers, to be 
changed; hence it was crystallized in Mohammed's law 
and passed on to other generations. ^ This liberty has 
been fully exercised by many of the faithful. Thus Ali, 
the son-in-law of the prophet, married, including all that 
he married and divorced, more than two hundred women. 
Sometimes he included as many as four wives in one con- 
tract, and divorced four at one time, taking four others in 
their stead. ^ A certain Mughayrah b. Sha'abah is reported 
to have married eighty women in the course of his life,^ 
while Mohammed b. At-Tayib, the dyer of Baghdad, who 
died in the year A.H. 423, at the age of eighty-five, is 
said to have married in all more than nine hundred 
women. If he began his marital career at the age of 
fifteen, he must have had on the average nearly thirteen 
new wives a year through his whole life.* This liberty 
is exercised in Arabian countries still. Palgrave relates 
that the Sultan of Qatar in eastern Arabia married a new 
wife every month or fortnight, on whom the brief honors 
of matrimony were bestowed for a like period, and who 
was then retired on a pension.^ Doughty also tells® how 
Zeyd, his host, a petty sheik of the Bedawi, not only 
permitted one of his wives to be courted by another Arab, 
but offered to divorce her that Doughty might marry her. 
Indeed, in parts of Arabia divorces are, in certain cases, 
not necessary, since the marriages are contracted for a 
limited period of definite length. Ammianus Marcellinus 
(XIV. 4) gives this as their usual type of marriage. After 
a certain day, he says, the wife may withdraw if she 

1 For an excellent account of divorce among the Arabs, see Wellhausen 
in the Nachrichten der Kgl. Oesell. d. Wiss. zu Gott., 1893, p. 452 ff. 

^ Cf. Lane's translation of the Thousand and One Nights, Vol. I, p. 
318 ff., cited by Wilken, Set Matriarchaat bij de Oude Arabieren, p. 18. 

8 Ibid. 

* Ibid. 

s Central and Eastern Arabia, Vol. II, pp. 232, 233. 

8 Arabia Deserta, Vol. I, pp. 320, 321. Zeyd had once before found 
a husband for a divorced wife of his, see ibid. , p. 237. 



48 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



pleases. Somewliat of the same character is a temporary 
form of marriage which still exists in Sunan, a town fifteen 
days from Mocha in south Arabia. It is described as fol- 
lows : " In all the streets there are brokers for wives, so 
that a stranger, who has not the conveniency of a house in 
the city to lodge in, may marry and be made a free burgher 
for a small sum. When the man sees his spouse and likes 
her, they agree on the price and term of weeks, months, or 
years, and then appear before the Kadi (qSdhi), or judge 
of the place, and enter their names and terms in his book, 
which costs a shilling or thereabout. And joining hands 
before him the marriage is valid, for better or for worse, 
till the expiration of the term agreed upon. And if they 
have a mind to part or renew the contract, they are at lib- 
erty to choose for themselves what they judge most proper; 
but if either wants to separate during the term limited, 
there must be a commutation of money paid by the separat- 
ing party to the other according as they can agree ; and so 
they become free to make a new marriage elsewhere." ^ 

In Mecca, whither throngs of pilgrims regularly resort, 
some of whom tarry for longer or shorter spaces of time, 
marriages of similarly short duration are still entered 
into; and women go thither from Egypt with the avowed 
purpose of entering into such alliances.^ 

In Abyssinia civil marriages, into which ordinary people 
enter, are still dissoluble at will, and divorce is very fre- 
quent. It is nothing unusual for husbands and wives to 
exchange partners, all remaining as before on the best of 
terms. Sometimes marriages are contracted for a fixed 

1 Quoted by Wilken in Het Matriarchaat bij de Oude Arabieren, p. 15, 
from Hamilton's N'ew Account of the East Indies, Vol. I, pp. 52, 53. 

2 See C. Snouok Hurgronje's Mekka, Haag, 1888-9, Vol. II, p. 5 ff., 
and 109-112, and S. M. Zwemer's AroMa, the Cradle of Islam, New 
York (Revell), 1900, p. 41. Zwemer is, however, dependent on Hur- 
gronje. In Somaliland, where the native customs have been shaped by 
Arabic immigration, till it is not easy to tell always how much is native 
and how much is not, divorce is very common. Cf. Siidarabische Expe- 
dition, Bd. I, Die Somali- Sprache von Leo Reinisch, Wien, 1900, p. 109. 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 49 

period, at the end of which husband and wife separate. 
No stigma attaches to those who find a change of partners 
desirable. Inconstancy is common and chastity not highly 
valued. 1 

When now we find in all Semitic countries a tendency 
to make the term of marriage brief, — a tendency which it 
requires a high degree of civilization to subdue in them, 
— the inference is surely valid, that among the primitive 
Semites marriage relations were in like degree temporary. 
It is contrary to all analogy to suppose that the affections 
of the primitive Semite were more constant than those of 
his semicivilized descendant, or that there were in ancient 
times stronger inducements than in more recent centuries 
for the perpetuation of the marriage tie. 

This fact is one of great importance, since its effect 
upon the constitution of the primitive Semitic family 
must have been serious. When marriages were of brief 
duration, and the same man had several wives in succes- 
sion, the most of them cannot have been his sisters, even 
if such marriages had been permitted. There are, as we 
shall see by and by, some possible instances of such mar- 
riages among the Semites ; but for the most part the feel- 
ing against mating with members of the same family, 
which is so widely disseminated among the races of the 
world,^ appears also among the Semitic peoples. Even if 
this feeling had been absent, the transitory character of 
marriage and the frequency with which men took new 
wives would make it certain that most of them would be 
of other families, if not of other clans. 

These wives would, when discarded, return to their 
kindred, if indeed they had ever left it, and would there, 

1 Cf. Bent's Sacred City of the. Ethiopians, 1893, pp. 31 and 35 ff., and 
A Visit to Abyssinia, by W. Winstanley, London, 1881, Vol. II, pp. 73, 74, 
also Modern Abyssinia, by Augustus B. Wylde, London, 1901, pp. 161 
and 254. 

2 See Starcke, Primitive Family, pp. 210, 211 ; Westermarck, History 
of Human Marriage, pp. 544, 545; and Giddings, Principles of Sociology, 
p. 267. 

B 



50 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



if they did not marry again, find support. Since the period 
of a woman's life during which she was desired in mar- 
riage was much shorter than the corresponding period in 
the life of a man, many of these discarded wives must, in 
any event, have been ultimately left with their own kin- 
dred ; 1 where, if they carried their children with them, they 
would be esteemed, on account of the children, as the real 
perpetuators of the clan. It is therefore altogether prob- 
able, as was remarked above, that the women who, in the 
primitive Semitic clan, performed the drudgery, whether 
in oasis or in desert life, were usually the sisters and 
mothers, and not the wives, of the men. 

Before, however, we accept this conclusion, with all its 
consequences, it is necessary to examine two other points 
which are closely connected : (1) the residence of the wife 
during her marriage; and (2) the method of reckoning 
kinship. In marriages of a temporary nature four differ- 
ent cases are possible: (1) the wife may live with her 
husband's kindred while married and return to her own 
when divorced, he retaining the children; (2) she may 
live while married with her husband's kindred, but on 
returning to her own take the children with her; (3) she 
may live in her own clan, whither the husband goes to 
live with her, she retaining the children when he with- 
draws ; and (4) she may reside in her own clan and the 
husband in his, simply receiving visits from him from 
time to time, in which case the children remain with her. 
In the first of these cases the children would belong to the 
clan of the father, while in the last three they would 
belong to the clan of the mother. 

The first of these conditions is that which has prevailed 
in the Arabian world from the time of the prophet to the 
present. The Qur'an (Sura 65^) specifically provides 
that the children shall be reared for the father, and at his 
expense. Many interesting instances of this might be 
cited in the history of Mohammedan families ; for exam- 

1 Cf. Giddings, op. cit., p. 264 ft. 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 51 

pie, Zeyd es-Sheychan, the sheik who was Doughty 's host, 
and to whom reference has already been made, divorced 
the mother of his son Selim, but reared the son in his own 
family.^ If this system of paternal kinship were primi- 
tive, we might suppose that the Semitic family had always 
existed in much the form of the Arabic family of to-day. 
If, however, it can be shown that descent was once reck- 
oned through the mother, and that the present patronymic 
family has superseded a metronymic organization, we shall 
then be at liberty to inquire which of the last three posi- 
tions we supposed above to be possible actually represents 
the status of the primitive Semitic wife. 

The late Robertson Smith and others have established 
the fact, as well as the state of the evidence will permit 
it to be established, that back of the custom of tracing 
descent through males there was a time when the Semites 
traced it through females. ^ It is true that the first point 
which Smith makes, that if kinship were reckoned by 
blood it would have to be reckoned through the mother, 
because in primitive times paternity was uncertain, — 
owing to the state of promiscuity,^ — is one which, in the 
light of recent sociological investigation * must be aban- 
doned, for it is altogether likely that in most cases the 
father was known. Of his arguments, which still remain 
valid, a summary may be made as follows : (1) The well- 
known Biblical phrase for relationship is "bone of my 
bone and flesh of my flesh." "Flesh" is explained in 
Lev. 25*8 by the word for clan. The Arabs attach great 
importance to a bond created by eating together; we must 
suppose, therefore, that the bond between those born of 
the same womb and nurtured at the same breast would be 

1 Doughty's Arabia Deserta, Vol. I, pp. 101, 217, 237, etc. 

2 See his Kinship, pp. 145-165. 
^Ibid., pp. 146-148. 

* See Staroke's Primitive Family, p. 25, his article in the International 
Journal of Ethics, Vol. Ill, p. 455, and Westermarck's History of 
Human Marriage, pp. 108, 109. 



52 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



more nearly of the same "flesh " and the same "clan " than 
any others. (2) The word rahim, womb, is the most gen- 
eral word for kinship, and points to a primitive kinship 
through the mother. (3) The custom called 'acica, by 
which a child is consecrated to the god of his father's 
tribe, cannot have been primitive. It must have sprung 
up in a state of transition to insure the counting of the 
offspring to the father's side of the house. (4) Cases 
occur in the historical period in which a boy when grown 
attaches himself to his mother's tribe. The poet Zohair 
is a case in point, and Arabic antiquarians appear to have 
known that such cases were not uncommon.^ (5) The 
fear that sons would choose their mother's clans led men 
who were wealthy to marry within their own kin. 
(6) The relation between a man and his maternal uncle 
is still considered closer than between a man and his 
paternal uncle. (7) Joseph's sons born of his Egyptian 
wife were not regarded as members of Israel's clan until 
formally adopted by him (Gen. 48^-^). (8) Abraham 
married his paternal sister, who was not the daughter of 
his own mother. Tamar might have legally been the wife 
of her half-brother Amnon, the relationship being on the 
father's side (2 Sam. IS^^). Such unions were known in 
Judah as late as the time of Ezekiel (see ch. 22"). Tab- 
nith, king of Sidon, married his father's daughter,^ and 
such marriages were known in Mecca. Since the marriage 
of those really regarded as brothers and sisters was abhor- 
rent to the Semites, kinship must in these cases have been 
counted through the mother. (9) In the Arabic genea- 
logical tables metronymic groups are still found. (10) In 
Aramaic inscriptions found at Hegra metronymic clans 
appear.^ 

Although these arguments of Smith are interwoven 

1 Cf. Smith's Kinship, pp. 155, 246-253. 

2 Cf. 018., Pt. I, Vol. I, No. 3, 11. 13-15. 

3 Cf. CIS., Pt. II, Vol. I, Nos. 198 and 209. See also Smith's Kinship, 
pp. 313-316. 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 53 



with some theories of polyandry, the consideration of 
which must be postponed a little, and with some argu- 
ments which do not appear to be valid, these which we 
have summarized present facts which, regardless of any 
theories of marriage, prove that at one time kinship was 
reckoned through the mother. 

This conclusion is corroborated by evidence gathered by 
other scholars. Noldeke noted that in the religious texts 
of the Mandaeans a man is described as the son of his 
mother, which indicates that among them kinship was 
reckoned through the mother. ^ Peiser has pointed out* 
that among the Babylonians a man could if he chose re- 
nounce his family and join the kindred of his wife, which 
is a relic of the same custom. Wellhausen has observed ' 
that in the genealogies of the Pentateuch the J document 
reckons descent through the mother, while in the P 
document it is traced through the father. 

These arguments may be confirmed by several important 
considerations. If descent had not been reckoned through 
the mother, the position which, as will be pointed out 
below, woman held among the early Semites would have 
been impossible, as would also a type of marriage for which 
there is considerable proof, and which will be considered 
in its place. 

If, now, the fact be accepted that kinship was counted 
through the female line, their habit in this respect is 
found to conform to that of most other primitive peoples,* 
and a vantage ground is obtained from which the social 
phenomena which remain to be considered become intel- 
ligible to us. If children did not belong to the clan of 
the father, the first of the possible forms of marriage men- 

1 Monatsschrift, 1884, p. 304. 

2 MiUheilungen der vorderasiatische Gesellschaft, 1896, p. 155. 

" Nachrichten d. Kgl. Oesell. d. Wiss. zu Gott., 1893, p. 478, n. 2. 

* See Spencer's Principles of Sociology, Vol. I, pp. 698, 703 ; Lubbock's 
Origin of Civilization, etc., 5th ed., pp. 151-157 ; Starcke's Primitive 
Family, pp. 18, 25, 37, 39. 74 ; Westermarck's History of Human Mar- 
riage, pp. 96, 97, 539 ; and Giddings's Principles of Sociology, p. 265. 



54 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



tioned above is clearly eliminated. The mother, as a rule, 
when she left her husband's residence (if she had lived 
there at all) must have taken the children with her; and 
if she resided in her own clan, it is clear that she retained 
the children. Of course it is possible that from the earli- 
est times a man might, when the clans were well disposed 
to one another, induce a woman to leave her own kindred 
and go to live with his. Of this we have almost no evi- 
dence, and in the nature of the case can obtain little. 
The point proved by Smith, ^ however, that in early pre- 
Mohammedan times the natural protectors of a woman 
were not her husband and his kindred, but her own rela- 
tives, makes it improbable that in the earliest Semitic 
communities the woman left her own people at all. Prob- 
ably, therefore, the second of our possible arrangements of 
Semitic marriage should also be eliminated. 

Of the third possibility — the residence of the husband 
in the wife's, tribe — we have more direct evidence. The 
classical instance of this, which all writers cite, is the case 
of Jacob and his wives, Leah and Rachel.^ Jacob lived 
with them in Laban's clan, and when he left was blamed 
for taking away the children. Laban declared, "the 
daughters are my daughters and the children are my 
children" (Gen. 31*^), i.e. they belong to my clan. A 
second argument, and one which proves that the case of 
Jacob and Laban is not an isolated instance, is found 
in the fact that the phrase for marriage which is used 
throughout the Old Testament, which is found in Syriac, 
and is still used in south Arabia, ^ is "he went in unto 
her." Smith has shown* that this phrase originated when 
it was the custom for a man to go to reside in his wife's 
tent in her tribe. In Yemen it is still the custom for the 
"going in "to take place in the bride's house; and the 
bridegroom, if home-born, must stay some nights in 
the bride's home, and if a foreigner, must settle with 

J Kinship, pp. 101-103. ' Smith's Kinship, pp. 167, 168. 

2 Gen., chs. 29-31. « Ibid., pp. 167-172. 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 56 

the tribe. ^ Smith also pointed out that the custom in 
north Arabia which compels a man to build a new tent 
for his wife, is an outgrowth of the older practice of enter- 
ing the wife's tent. In the same region it sometimes 
happens still that the wife refuses to leave her tribe, and 
the husband is compelled to leave his and go and join 
hers. Lady Blunt relates such an instance which came 
under her own observation.^ That this also occurred in 
ancient Babylonia, the case cited above of the man who 
joined his wife's family is sufficient to prove. Such evi- 
dence as this, coming from so many portions of the Semitic 
territory, makes it clear that this kind of marriage was a 
primitive Semitic practice. 

In such marriages many circumstances might arise to 
call the husband away and interrupt the marriage rela- 
tions. The clans might become hostile, so that it would 
be unsafe for him to remain, or his fancy might weary of 
the bride's attractions, or of her people, and then he would 
wander elsewhere to contract a similar alliance. Such 
marriages are called beena marriage, the name given them 
in Ceylon, where they were first studied. They are found 
in many parts of the world. ^ The children in such cases 
remain of course with the mother, are reared by her kin- 
dred, and become a part of her clan. The net result, 
therefore, of our discussion up to this point is the estab- 
lishment of the fact that the primitive Semites practised 
beena marriage, that the children belonged to the tribe of 

1 Smith, ibid., p. 168. Among the Hamitic Somalia of East Africa, 
among whom the Arabs have penetrated and by whom many Arabic 
customs have been adopted (cf . Beitrage zur Mhnographie und Anthro- 
pologie der SomSl, Galla und Harari, von Philipp Paulitschke, 2d ed., 
Leipzig, 1888, p. 2 f£.)i it is still customary, vrhen a young man marries, 
for the bride, aided by the kinswomen of the groom, to build before the 
marriage feast a new hut, in which after marriage they establish their 
new home. Cf. Sudarabische Expedition, Bd. I, Die Somali- Sprache, 
von Leo Reinisch, Wien, 1900, p. 107. 

2 A Pilgrimage to Nejd, by Lady Anne Blunt, London, 1881, Vol. I, 
p. 92. 

8 Cf. Giddings's Principles of Sociology, p. 268. 



56 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



the mother, and that the women of the household were 
the mothers and sisters, and not the wives and daughters, 
of the men. The third of the possible arrangements of 
Semitic marriage mentioned above turns out, therefore, 
to be a true one. 

Evidence is also at hand to prove that the fourth of the 
possible arrangements was also realized in practice. In 
three of the Mu'allakat poems there are specific statements 
that the women whom the poets visited only occasionally 
were members of other clans, and that often they visited 
them at personal risk,i on account of the strained relations 
of the clans. The marriage of Samson (Judges 14) was 
also an alliance of this character. His wife resided in her 
own clan, and he visited her there. In such cases as these 
the marriages were often terminated by the migration of 
the tribes in different directions.^ This is the general 
type of marriage which Ammianus Marcellinus describes 
when speaking of the Arabs, though he is probably speak- 
ing of a somewhat later development of it. He says the 
bride presents her husband with a spear and a tent, and 
if she chooses withdraws after a certain day.^ 

This last phase of the marriage relation of the Semites 
is probably but a modification of the heena marriage, or the 
heena marriage a modification of it, brought about at times 
by the hostile relation of the clans, as in the case of Sam- 
son ; at times, by considerations of personal attachment to 
his own clan, which made a man unwilling, even tempo- 
rarily, to leave it; and at times, by economic necessities, 
as will be pointed out below. 

The general view which we have been led to take of 
the marriage tie among the Semites is confirmed by the 
position held among them by women in ancient times. So 

1 See Mu'allakat of Labid, 11. 16-19 ; that of 'Antarah, 11. 5-11 ; and 
that of Harith, 11. 1-9. 

2 Mu'dllakat of Labid, 11. 16-19. 

5 See Bk. XIV, ch. 4. He also remarks on the temporary character 
of Arabic marriages. 



PEIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 57 

far from being the creature of man and almost his chattel, 
as the system of selling daughters to become wives of the 
baal marriages has made her, she occupied a position of 
comparative dignity, equality, and independence. Smith 
has shown that in Arabia, in pre-Islamic times, women 
were frequently chosen as judges; that they were some- 
times queens (of whom the queen of Sheba of Biblical 
fame is best known) ; that they were regarded as the most 
sacred trust of the tribe; and that, in spite of Moham- 
med's humanitarian laws in behalf of women, their posi- 
tion steadily declined under Islam in consequence of the 
system of haal marriage, which practically made the hus- 
band her lord.i This view is confirmed by Wellsted^ 
and Palgrave,^ who found that in Oman and Hasa, where 
Islam is not so rigorously observed as in northern Arabia, 
women were much more free and respected than in other 
parts of the peninsula. In several places they did not 
wear the veils even in the towns ; and in some, where it 
was worn, the practice was voluntary.* This freedom is, 
without doubt, a survival from pre-Islamic times. 

In ancient Israel we also catch glimpses of a similar 
freedom and dignity for women. In what appears to be 
the oldest bit of literature in the Old Testament,* Debo- 
rah figures as the inspirer and director of the people in 
the movement for freedom. She assumes here a position 
as free and prominent as any that woman occupied in 
Arabia. 

In Babylonia, too, the contract tablets reveal the fact 
that at the close of the New Babylonian Empire, and in 
the early Persian period, after many centuries of haal 
marriage, women still held a position of great importance 

» Cf. Smith's Kinship, pp. 100-106, 171, and 275. 
" Cf. Wellsted's Travels in Arabia, Vol. I, pp. 351-354. 
" Central and Eastern Arabia, Vol. II, p. 177. 

4 WeUsted, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 101, 118, and 146; also PalgraTe as in 
n.4. 

' The poem in Judges 5. 



58 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



and freedom. Married women appear with their husbands 
as joint partners in buying, selling, borrowing, and loan- 
ing; married women appear alone in business contracts 
relating to money, real estate, and slaves ; they make con- 
tracts concerning merchandise with men not their hus- 
bands, and appear in lawsuits.^ This dignity, which the 
Babylonian of the seventh and sixth centuries B.C. ac- 
corded to woman, must be regarded as a survival of the 
comparatively independent position which she held among 
their early Semitic ancestors. Thus Arabia, Palestine, 
and Babylonia each contribute to the proof of this position. 
These arguments, taken in connection with the evidence 
concerning the nature of primitive Semitic marriage, are 
sufficient to make it clear that in the course of Semitic 
progress the position of woman, in the family and in the 
clan, has been greatly modified, and that she has lost in 
the process much of her primitive importance. This point 
will be still further confirmed when we come to consider, 
in subsequent chapters,^ the religious argument. It will 
then appear that in different parts of the Semitic territory, 
notably in Arabia and Babylonia, goddesses survived till 
a comparatively late time, who held a position of inde- 
pendence of male deities, without parallel in later Semitic 
social organization ; and whose birth would therefore com- 
pel us, even if there were no other evidence on the matter, 
to postulate a condition of society among the primitive 
Semites in which woman should hold a position similar to 
that described in the preceding pages. In many ways 
free of restraint; often the head of her family, if not of 
her clan ; usually leaving her maidenhood behind by one 
or more acts of free love ; contracting marriages at will as 
fancy dictated, but each of which was of short duration ; 
cherished as the mother of her children and the perpetu- 
ator of her family; performing the drudgery of nomadic 

1 See the monograph of Victor Merx, " Die Stellung der Frauen in 
Babylonien," etc., in Beitrdge zur Assyriologie, Vol. IV, pp. 1-72. 
•^ Chs. Ill and VI. 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 59 

life, but mingling in, even when she did not direct, the 
counsels of her uncles, brothers, and sons, — the primitive 
Semitic woman was a picturesque figure, if not a model 
for more modern days. 

It is now time to inquire whether the primitive Semites 
practised polyandry. Robertson Smith, following in the 
footsteps of McLennan, interpreted many of the phenomena 
we have passed in review as evidence of polyandrous prac- 
tices. This, as is evident from the treatment accorded 
the subject above, is not necessary. Such facts as we 
have thus far examined may all be explained on the basis 
of a temporary monogamy of the beena type, intermixed 
with considerable sexual irregularity. Some of these 
facts are not inconsistent, however, with the institution 
of polyandry ; and there are others still to be considered 
which make its presence at some periods and in some 
localities certain. 

Polyandry, in one form or another, has existed in many 
parts of the world. It is found in India, both ancient and 
modern, where it finds reflection in the ancient Maha- 
bharata epic and other records ; and it still appears among 
some existing tribes. ^ The most famous instance from 
this land is that of the Nairs of the Malabar coast, whose 
life has been most fully studied, and who represent one 
type of the polyandric institution most completely.^ It is 
also found in Thibet, though the kind of polyandry prac- 
tised there is of another type.^ Still another type was, 

' On polyandry in India, see Hopkins's monograph, "The Ruling Caste 
in Ancient India," JAOS., Vol. XIII, pp. 170, 354 fi.; his Beligions of 
India, Boston, 1895, pp. 467, 536 n. ; and his Great Epic of India, N.Y., 
1901, pp. 376, 399 ; Jolly's Becht und Sitte (in Buhler's Grundriss der 
Indo-AHschen Philologie und AUertumsIcunde, Bd. II, Heft 8), pp. 
47-49 ; Hilderbrand's Becht und Sitte auf den verschiedenen wirtschaft 
lichen KuUurstufen, Jena, 1896, pp. 15, 16 ; Reclus's Primitive Folk, pp 
143-177, and Starcke's Primitive Family, pp. 79-87. 

2 Eor description see Reclus, as in n. 1. All writers on marriage and 
sociology, from McLennan down, have much to say of them. 

8 Cf. Spencer's Principles of Sociology, Vol. I, p. 659, and Starcke's 
Primitive Family, p. 134. 



60 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



according to Csesar, found among the ancient Britons,^ 
and is still found among the Todas.^ Polyandry is also 
found in the Polynesian Islands,^ until recently in Cey- 
lon and New Zealand, in the Aleutian Islands, among the 
Konyaks north of the Okhotsk, and among the Cossacks. 
Humboldt observed it among the Indian tribes of the Ori- 
noco; it was common in the Canary Isles; in Africa it 
has been found among the Hottentots, the Demaras, and 
among the mountain tribes of the Bantu race. It formerly 
prevailed among the Picts and Irish.* 

The explanations offered for polyandry are various. 
McLennan believed that all races had passed through it 
as a necessary stage on the way from promiscuity to 
monogamy. Those who reject this view have assigned it 
to different causes: some to poverty,^ others to natural 
excess of males where tribes interbreed,^ and others regard 
it as a mere incident of family communism.'' Poverty 
cannot be the sole cause, since it is sometimes found 
among the rich.^ It can hardly be explained by a natural 
excess of males, since such excess is very improbable.^ As 
a matter of fact, no one cause is sufficient to explain it in 
all localities.^" Each instance of it must be studied by 
itself in its peculiar environment and in the light of its 
antecedents. 

Before we return to Semitic polyandry it will be helpful 
to glance at some of the different types of it which have 
developed in different countries. These types are three 

1 Cf . De Bello Oallico, V, 14, and Staroke, op. cit. , p. 139. 

2 Cf . Spencer, op. cit. , Vol. I, p. 654. 

5 Cf. Waitz, Anthropologie, Vol. VI, pp. 128, 129. 

* MoLennan's Studies in Ancient History, p. 97 fif., and Giddings's 
Principles of Sociology, p. 155 ff. 

s So Hilderbrand, Becht und Sitte, etc., pp. 15, 16, and, in part, Gid- 
dings, op. cit., pp. 155, 156, and 276. 

' So Westermarok, History of Human Marriage, pp. 476-483. 

7 So Starcke, Primitive Family, pp. 139, 140. 

8 Cf. Westermarok, op. cit., pp. 476, 477, and 482. 

' Cf. Starcke, In the International Journal of Ethics, Vol. Ill, p. 464. 
w Cf. Spencer, op. cit.. Vol. I, p. 663. 



PEIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 61 

in number : Nair polyandry, in which a woman may have 
as many as a dozen husbands, whom she receives in suc- 
cession or as fancy dictates, but who in turn are free to 
have as many mistresses as they can secure;^ Thibetan 
polyandry, in which a group of brothers share one wife ; 
and British polyandry, in which a group of sisters become 
in common the wives of a group of brothers. These three 
types represent three different forms of the institution. 
Of these the Nair type is the most primitive. The Thi- 
betan and British types may be considered as modifications 
of the same form, since they are in principle the same. 

Returning now to the Semites, we may note that the 
type of temporary marriage, of which traces are found in 
the Mu'allakat poems and in Ammianus Marcellinus,^ is 
not necessarily monogamous or monandrous. In such 
temporary unions, in which the husband and wife belonged 
to different tribes, it would very probably be that each 
would have acknowledged lovers in other tribes, with 
whom they would have intimate relations whenever the 
tribes approached one another so as to make it possible. 
When we consider the sexual bent of the early Semites 
and the lightness with which the marriage tie was regarded, 
we can hardly hesitate to believe that this was so. Such 
an arrangement might be classed as temporary monandry, 
or as polyandry of the Nair type, according to the point 
of view from which it is regarded. Like Nair polyandry, 
it was at the same time polygamy. It differed, however, 
from Nair polyandry in being exogamous; the Nairs 
regarded intercourse with one of another caste as adul- 
tery.^ In all probability, there was more polyandry than 
polygamy in these marriages, for the practice of putting 

1 Of. Eeclus, Primitive Folk, p. 163. 

2 See above, p. 56. These temporary marriages, where the wife 
received visits from her lovers with the ooirsent of her kinsmen, were 
called mot' a marriages, i.e. marriages of pleasure or convenience. It is 
given this name in some of the Arabic commentaries to Sura i^. See 
"Wilken's Matriarchaat, p. 9, n. 3. 

" Eeclus, ap. cil., p. 164. 



62 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



to death infant girls, which prevailed down to the time of 
Mohammed (see Sura 16^i), was in all probability a primi- 
tive Semitic practice. Where the conditions of life were 
as hard as they always were in the Arabian peninsula, 
more warriors than women would usually be needed by 
the tribe ; and this mode of preventing not only too many 
women, but too rapid an increase of the tribe, in view of 
the limited means of sustenance, would be very natural. 
Such a custom is not inconsistent with the high honor in 
which the women who were permitted to live were held, 
especially to a semi-savage mind not sensitive to incon- 
gruities. Inevitably an excess of males would thus be 
produced, which, among a sexually lax people, would be 
sure to lead to polyandry. We cannot be sure that such 
marriages, especially in later times, were always exoga- 
mous. Those already cited from the Mu'allakat poems 
certainly were, but there are others to be found in the 
same collection which were endogamous. Imr-ul-Kais 
alludes in his Mu'allakat to the fact that he followed the 
women of his tribe and spent a day in their company, ^ and 
the Unaizah, whose fruit he boasts he had repeatedly tasted, 
was the daughter of his uncle. In like manner Laila, the 
woman celebrated in the poem of Amr b. Kulthum, was 
Amr's kinswoman. 2 In polyandrous marriages of the 
general Nair type, there might exist both endogamous and 
exogamous alliances ; and so far as this form of marriage 
existed among the Semites, it would appear from extant 
evidence to have combined the two kinds of marriage, that 
from within and that from without the tribe. In so far 
as Semitic feeling on this point can be historically traced, 
it was in favor of endogamy ; Semitic parents were always 
grieved if their children married outside their tribe. ^ 

1 See the Arabic commentator's explanation of v. 11 of Imr-ul-Kais's 
Mu'allakat in Arnold's edition of the Mu'allakat. For a translation of 
the poems, see The Seven Poems suspended in the Temple at Mecca, by 
F. E. Johnson, London, 1894. 

2 See Mu'allakat, Y, 11, 13, 14. 

» See Genesis 243- ■•, 26^- 35, 28i- % Judges 14», etc. 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 



This is, however, probably a late feeling, which sprung 
up when totemism was decaying, when primitive condi- 
tions of marriage and kinship were breaking up, and when, 
in disregard of earlier customs and ideas, the desire to 
keep the children for one's tribe was gaining the ascen- 
dency. In a totemic clan where real sisters are not taken 
as wives, totemic sisters cannot be.^ As the Semitic 
clans were totemic and did not, as a rule, marry sisters,^ 
we must infer that in the earlier stages of development 
they were exogamous ; and that Nair polyandry, in so far 
as it existed among them, existed as an exogamous insti- 
tution. The mixed variety with which we meet in the 
Mu'allakat poems is explained by the break-up of the old 
religious ideas which was in progress, and the social 
transition which the introduction of male kinship was 
introducing.^ 

Perhaps the kind of marriage which is practised by the 
Hassenyeh Arabs of the White Nile is a relic of the Nair 
type of polyandry, though it might equally well be re- 
garded as a slight limitation of the promiscuity of the 
primitive Semitic girls, which we discussed above. Among 
these Arabs, the marriages of the most respectable are not 
for more than four days in the week, and may be for less 
time. During these days the wife must observe the rules 
for matrimonial chastity; but on other days she is free to 
receive any man whom she may fancy, and the husbands 
seem pleased with any attention paid to their wives during 
their free and easy days, taking it as evidence that their 
wives are attractive.* 

It is safe to conclude, from the evidence presented, that 
in early Semitic life a combined polyandry and polygamy, 

1 See Giddings's Principles of Sociology, p. 271. 

2 See Lev. 20i7- ", Qur'an 4^^ Yaqut, Vol. IV, p. 620, and Robertson 
Smith's discussion, Kinship, p. 162 ff. 

3 Wellhausen holds also that Arabic endogamy was preceded by exog- 
amy ; see Nachrichten d. kgl. Gesell. d. Wiss. zu Gott., 1893, pp. 473 ft. 

* See Wilken's Matriarckaat, p. 24, and Spencer's Principles of Soci- 
ology, Vol. I, p. 617. 



64 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



approaching the Nair type, but originally exogamous, ex- 
isted. It has, however, passed away, leaving few results 
behind it which might not have been produced by a system 
of temporary marriage, combined with a large degree of 
that sexual laxity which exists among all peoples, in 
greater or less degree, but which among the early Semites 
was regarded as a religious duty. 

Of the Thibetan type of polyandry we have more abun- 
dant evidence. The most striking is the passage in Strabo's 
description of Arabia Felix, often quoted by writers in 
recent years : ^ " All the kindred have property in common, 
the eldest being lord; all have one wife, and it is first 
come first served, the man who enters to her leaving at 
the door the stick which it is customary for every one to 
carry; but the night she spends with the eldest. Hence, 
all are brothers of all ; they also have conjugal intercourse 
with mothers ; ^ an adulterer is punished with death ; an 
adulterer is a man of another stock." This passage is 
strong testimony of the existence in Yemen of fraternal 
polyandry of the Thibetan type. It has recently been con- 
firmed by the testimony of inscriptions brought from the 
same region, Glaser stated, in 1897, that he had epi- 
graphic evidence of polyandry, or communal marriage, 
among the Sabseans,^ and Winckler, in the next year, 
pointed out that in a Minsean inscription published by 
Hal^vy, the genealogy demonstrated a fraternal polyandry.* 
The evidence for this type of marriage for Yemen is there- 
fore indisputable. 

The late Robertson Smith collected considerable evi- 
dence to show that this type of polyandry was also known 

1 Strabo, Bk. XVI, ch. 4, p. 783. 

'^ This is probably not to be taken literally, but to be explained by 
Qur'au 4'^, where it appears that men had married wives of their fathers. 
Cf. Robertson Smith in Journal of Philology, Vol. IX, p. 86, n. 2. 

° See his note " Polyandrie oder Gesellschaftsohen bei den alten Saba- 
em " in the Beilagen of Allgemeine Zeitung, Miinchen, December 6, 1897. 

* " Die Polyandrie bei den Minaern," in Winckler's AUorientalische 
Forschungen, 2te Reihe, Vol. I, pp. 81-83. 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 66 

in North Arabia and in other parts of the Semitic territory. 
His arguments are: (1) Bokhari relates that two men 
made a covenant of brotherhood, which resulted in their 
sharing their goods and wives, — a fact which would seem 
to show a survival of a custom of fraternal polyandry, i 
(2) In Arabia karma means the wife of a son or brother, 
but is used also to denote one's own wife. In Hebrew 
kdlldh means both betrothed and daughter-in-law; while 
in Syriac kalthd means both bride and daughter-in-law. 
These facts can be explained most easily as remnants of 
fraternal polyandry. ^ (3) The Arabic law that a man has 
the first right to the hand of his cousin, as well as the fact 
which the 4th Sura of the Qur'an and its attendant tra- 
ditions attest, that in case a man died and left only female 
children, the father's male relatives inherited his property 
and married his daughters, are regarded as the results of 
a previously existing polyandrous condition of society like 
that described by Strabo.3 (4) The Qur'an (423) forbids 
men to inherit women against their will, and forbids (4^8) 
them to take their step-mothers in marriage " except what 
has passed." This is regarded as evidence that down to 
the time of Mohammed these attendant circumstances of 
polyandry had continued, and that the prophet did not 
dare to annul existing unions, though he forbade such 
marriages in the future.* 

The last two points quoted from Smith may not at first 
sight seem to be valid arguments, but a little consid- 
eration of the circumstances which would inevitably 
attend polyandry of this sort, and the transition from 
it to polygamy, will vindicate their character. In fraternal 
polyandry the oldest brother is the head of the family, 
and the wife is, or in time becomes, the property of the 

1 Kinship, p. 135. 

^ Ibid. , p. 136. I have modified the statements slightly in quoting 
because, In the form in which Smith made them, they are not lexically 
defensible. 

» Ibid., pp. 138, 139. 

*Ibid., pp. 86, 87. 

F 



66 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



group of brothers. In case the oldest brother dies, the 
next in age succeeds to his prerogatives and to his larger 
claim on the wife. Thus, the idea is established that 
inheritance carries with it not only rights of property, but 
marital rights as well. Endogamous customs of marriage 
extend this idea. A man comes to think of his paternal 
cousin as by right his wife, so that the conception of in- 
heriting women is strengthened and extends. Under this 
system of polyandry the conception of male kinship grows 
up and is firmly established, so that when polygamy suc- 
ceeds polyandry the social soil is prepared for such cus- 
toms as those urged by Smith as evidences of polyandry. 
In this connection Smith also, following in the footsteps 
of McLennan, urged that the Levirate custom of marrying 
the wife of a dead brother to raise up seed to him, of which 
we have such a beautiful idjd in Ruth 3, 4, of which he 
also found traces in Arabia,^ and which still exists in 
Abyssinia,^ was an outgrowth of fraternal polyandry. It 
seemed to him and McLennan that no one would have 
thought of counting the son of one brother as the son of 
another, if previously the sons had not been the property 
of all in common. Spencer, Starcke, and Westermarck 
have all contested this position. Spencer suggests that 
it is one of the results of inheriting women as one would 
inherit other property;* to which Starcke justly replies 
that this view leaves unexplained the real point of the 
custom, the counting of the children as the offspring of 
the dead brother. Starcke* and Westermarck^ point out 
that the Levirate, or institutions of a similar character, 
have existed in many parts of the world where there was 
no suspicion of polyandry, and that therefore another 
explanation must be sought. That which they offer is 

1 Kinship, p. 87. 

2 Letoumeau's Evolution of Marriage, p. 265. 
' Principles of Sociology, Vol. I, p. 661. 

* The Primitive Family, pp. 157, 168, and the International Journal 
of Ethics, Vol. Ill, p. 465. 

* The History of Human Marriage, pp. 610-514. 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 67 

that in primitive communities the idea of fatherhood is 
juridical, and not based on actual fatherhood, and that 
this fact, combined with the desire to keep intact the 
dead man's estate, produced the institution in question. 
The view of Letourneau,^ that the Levirate, though not 
necessarily produced by polyandry, is practised under a 
polyandric regime, seems to come nearer to the truth. 
Possibly other customs and causes may have sometimes 
produced an institution of a similar character; but when 
we find absolutely certain evidence of the existence of 
fraternal polyandry, such as we have for south Arabia, it 
is but fair to interpret an institution which grows, as 
we have seen, so naturally out of polyandry, as evi- 
dence of its existence in another branch of the Semitic 
race. 

The explanations which Starcke and Westermarck give 
of the Levirate seem inadequate in two respects : (1) They 
leave unexplained why any one should desire to keep the 
dead brother's estate intact, when it would be for the self- 
interest of all the other brothers to have it divided; and 
(2) they assume that in all parts of the world similar insti- 
tutions must be produced by identical causes. Let it be 
granted that polyandry does not offer a complete explana- 
tion of why seed should be desired for an individual 
brother, McLennan's contention that it did so is still so 
far valid, that it may be said that polyandry supplies 
some probable cause, while the juridical theory affords 
none. It is not for an outsider to fight the battles of the 
sociologists, but to me it seems more scientific to study 
each institution in the light of its antecedents and envi- 
ronment, than to heap instances together from every quar- 
ter of the globe, and assume that because their external 
character is similar one cause must have produced them 
all. Studied in the light of the characteristics of the 
Semitic race, we may still hold that for them the presence 
of the Levirate system argues a previous polyandric con- 
1 The Evolution of Marriage, p. 265. 



SEMITIC ORIGINS 



dition. This is the opinion of Wellhausen,^ Buhl,^ and 
Benzinger,^ all of whom recognize that back of Arabic and 
Hebrew life, as we know it, there lay a condition of 
polyandry. 

It is in this type of polyandry, where the wife is the 
recipient of the favors of all the brothers, that the indi- 
vidual father may not be known. It is always known that 
a child is connected with a certain paternal stock, but 
which one of the brothers begat him is a matter of doubt. 
This led Robertson Smith to point out * that the Semitic 
word abu must have originally meant "nourisher," not 
procreator, and that in fraternal polyandry it must have 
been applied to the elder brother. It thus acquired the 
value of "husband" before it had the value of "father," 
and is actually employed in the former sense by Jere- 
miah (ch. 3*). This observation led me to point out * that 
in a Babylonian contract, which dates from more than two 
thousand years B.C., the word ahu is also used in the sense 
of "husband." This affords us at least one trace of this 
system in Babylonia. It seems safe, therefore, to con- 
clude that this type of polyandry began before the disper- 
sion of the Semitic nations, or was developed by similar 
circumstances, or was carried by later emigrants from 
Arabia to the other nations. It seems probable that it 
was developed before the later separations from the parent 
stock occurred, and if not before the earliest, it was carried 
to those countries by later migrations. 



1 Cf. Nachrichten d. kgl. Gesell. d. Wiss. zu Gott., 1893, pp. 460 fi., 
474 ft., aiid479ft. 

'^ Die sociale Verhdltnisse der Israeliten, von Franz Buhl, Berlin, 1899, 
p. 28 ff. 

^ Hebraische Archaeologie, Leipzig, 1894, p. 134. 

* Kinship, pp. 117, 1.34. Cf. also my article, "The Kinship of Gods 
and Men among the Early Semites," in JBL., Vol. XV, especially 
p. 181 ff. 

5 See my " Note on Meissner's AUbabylonisehe Privatreeht, No. 7," in 
JA OS., Vol. XX, p. 326. The point of the article is that in line 24 of this 
tablet a woman's father is called her abu, while in line 28 her husband is 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIEE 69 

Of British polyandry, or communal marriage (the mar- 
riage of a group of women to a group of men), there is 
not, so far as I know, much evidence. Euting ^ describes 
a caravan which he saw on its way from Haur^n to Kaf, 
which contained 170 men and more than 20 young women. 
This suggests the possibility that in the exigencies of 
caravan life communal unions may have been formed. 
Dozy 2 cites a case which occurred under Omar I, where an 
old Arab gave to a young one a share in his wife, in return 
for which the young man was to do gardening for him ; and 
when reproved for it, both men professed to be ignorant 
that they were acting contrary to law. This was, of course, 
not communal marriage, but it indicates a point of view 
which would make it possible, for convenience, to produce 
such unions. If this type of marriage ever existed among 
the Semites, it has left behind no sure traces of itself. 

Having established the existence of Thibetan polyandry, 
as well as that of the Nair type, we must inquire into 
their relation to one another. Smith held^ that Thibetan 
polyandry was a transition stage from the maternal to the 
paternal family. As has been pointed out,* the Nair type 
of polyandry is consistent with the conditions of very early 
Semitic life, when marriage was exogamous. The type 
of polyandry described by Strabo could only be introduced, 
as endogamous Nair polyandry could be,^ when these con- 
ditions were breaking up, when totemism was losing its 
hold, and endogamy had taken the place of exogamy. 
Smith also claims ® that the capture of women, of which 
there is abundant evidence,^ had an important influence in 

also called her abu, showing that the word was used in the same elastic 
manner as it is in Jeremiah. 

1 Tagbuch einer Seise in Inner- Arabien, Leiden, 1896, p. 38. 

^ Histoire des Musselmans d'Espagne, par E. Dozy, Leiden, 1861, 
Vol. I, p. 36. 

8 Kinship, p. 144 ff. * See above, p. 57. 

4 Above, p. 63 ff. " Kinship, pp. 74, 75. 

' See also "Wellhausen, Nachrichten d. kgl. Oesell. d. Wiss. zu Gott., 
1893, p. 473. 



70 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



developing it. The sons of such women were, as Arabian 
poets declare, brought up with their father's tribe. The 
mother could not dismiss her husband at will, as in the 
older mo^a marriage, but became subject to his power. 
This power over her was sweet; and the advantage of 
having their children to themselves, and not being com- 
pelled to abandon them to the tribe of the mother, appealed 
to them. But women were not always to be captured; 
often, too, the conditions of life were too hard to allow of 
the support of more than one in a whole family of brothers, 
so the feeling against letting the children of sons go out 
of the tribe would of course nurture the older feeling that 
the children of the daughters were members of it ; and thus 
gradually marriage with a kinswoman took, for the most 
part, the place of extra-tribal, or clan marriages. 

While the forces which transformed Nair polyandry into 
that of the Thibetan type may have been, in part, those 
which Smith supposed, there were other economic reasons 
which, in Arabia, must have had a tendency to act in this 
direction from the beginning. It is clear from Keasbey's 
analysis of the clan organization, with which this chapter 
opened, that the matriarchal clans, which we have in the 
subsequent discussion proven to exist, must have had their 
habitat in the oases of Arabia. There the women and 
the weaker men would remain, thither other men would 
from time to time repair, there Nair polyandry would be 
practised, and there woman would be held in the high 
esteem in which we have shown her to have been regarded 
in Arabia. Such was the Arabic communal clan ; and to 
it most of the evidence collected above applies. 

From the beginning, however, there must have been a 
tendency to the republican clan. Expeditions into the 
desert with the flocks in search of pasturage, or caravans 
from place to place for the purposes of trade, would con- 
sist, as did the one which Euting saw, of a considerable 
number of men and a much smaller number of women. 
This would, from the beginning, have a tendency toward 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 71 

the formation of clans in which polyandry of the Thibetan 
or British type would prevail. The women of the wealthy 
Arabians of the oases who to-day accompany their hus- 
bands on their expeditions into the desert are as a rule 
those of lower social position. A princess in a harem may 
have it understood that she is to remain always in the 
oasis. 1 Probably it was so in ancient times. Such a band 
of men would take with them some daring young women, 
who had not much position at home, or who were captives 
from another tribe. In such clans, where the men were 
the most important element, and where Thibetan or British 
polyandry would be almost certain, there would be a ten- 
dency from the beginning to count the children to the 
father's stock. The men of such clans, like some mod- 
ern sailors, would be certain, too, to have mistresses in 
every oasis which they visited; so that, while they formed 
an important element in the social life of that Nair type 
which we have traced above as the prevailing type among 
the primitive Semites, they might also, in their own 
migratory clans, have been laying the foundation of 
Thibetan polyandry and paternal kinship. 

The evidence passed in review goes to show that in the 
most primitive times this tendency did not make itself 
much felt. The reason why it did not is obvious. Arabia 
is such a poor country, outside the oases, that the life of 
the people is practically bound up in these fertile spots. 
For a long time these adventurous bands were too depen- 
dent upon the oases, and too much overshadowed by their 
more numerous population, to make any marked impress 
on the social order. As trade increased, however, and 
the population, through numbers, was in places crowded 
out permanently into the desert, such clans would become 
more permanent; and thus clans practising Thibetan 

^ Cf. Blunt, Pilgrimage to Nejd, Vol. I, p. 232. Only one of the three 
■wives of the emir of Hail at the time of Lady Blunt's visit was bound to 
accompany her lord on his expeditions into the desert. The other two, 
•who never left the oasis, looked down on this one as an inferior. 



72 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



polyandry and counting kinship through the father might 
be produced from economic causes.^ Wars would of course 
be produced as a part of this process, so that marriage by 
capture may have been one element of the transformation ; 
but the economic element was probably earlier, and equally 
prominent. 

By these factors fraternal polyandry was produced. 
Wellhausen^ ascribes to this feeling for one's tribe alone 
the change from exogamy to endogamy. Fraternal poly- 
andry adapts itself to a very poor country ; ^ and where 
the murder of female children is added to the conditions 
just described, it would seem to be the inevitable result 
of the situation. 

The restraint which this type of polyandry imposed on 
men must always have been exceedingly irksome to those 
who possessed the Semitic nature; and with them the 
natural result would be that, whenever plenty permitted 
the support of more women, and other circumstances threw 
more of them into their power, polyandry would give place 
to polygamy. This is what occurred whenever Semites 
went into countries more fertile than Arabia. We find, as 
we have seen, here and there traces of a previous polyandry ; 
but wherever circumstances permitted it has given place to 
polygamy, whether among Arabs, Babylonians, or Hebrews. 

Hilderbrand, who has made a careful study of the family 
type found among peoples who live by hunting, fishing, or 
as shepherds and agriculturists, lays it down as a general 
law that, " Among people who are in the lowest stages of 
domestic development, we never and nowhere meet with 
promiscuity or community in women."* This statement, 

1 Such clans seem to exist in Arabia to-day and to have an organiza- 
tion of their own. Samn, or melted butter, the produce of their flocks, 
is their chief article of exchange. Ct. Doughty, Arabia Deserta, Vol. II, 
pp. 71, 206-207, 209, 267, 268, 281, 289, 457. 

2 Op. cit., p. 437 ft. 

' Cf. Spencer's Principles of Sociology, Vol. I, p. 659. 
* "Bei Volkern, welche sich noch auf der untersten wirtsohaftlichen 
Stufe befinden, begegnen wir niemals und nirgens einem Zustande der 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 73 

I am told by good authorities in sociology, may be taken 
as authoritative. He also tells us that, " The purchase of 
wives is first found among peoples vp^ho have already 
reached the condition of shepherd or agricultural life, and 
individual property in land. Also, marriage by capture 
is first frequently found in this stage of development."^ 
In like manner, with reference to polyandry, he deduces 
from the cases he has observed this law, " Among peoples 
who have already reached the shepherd or agricultural 
stage of development and have individual property in 
land, we not seldom find the phenomena that a number of 
brothers or kinsmen possess one wife in common, or even 
individuals live in complete celibacy." 2 Similarly, Gid- 
dings remarks,' " The polyandrian family is found in very 
many parts of the world, usually in tribes that have passed 
beyond savagery into barbarism." ^ 

If, now, we apply the laws deduced by these students 
of sociology to the ancient Semites, a part of the observa- 
tions already made are confirmed, and, in some respects, 
our knowledge of the earlier prehistoric period of Semitic 
residence in Arabia is advanced. Hilderbrand's laws 
confirm our view that the Thibetan type of polyandry is a 
comparatively late development ; but they also lead us to 
suspect that when the Semites separated from their Ham- 
itic brethren of North Africa, they had already passed 
beyond the lowest stages of social culture, since all our 
data point to a sexual looseness for the primitive Semite 

Frauengemeinscliaft oder Promiscuitat. " See Becht und Sitte, etc., 

p. 11. 

1 "Der Sitte des Frauenkaufs begegnen wir emst bei Volkern, welche 
schon auf der Stufe des Hirtenlebens oder aber des Aokerbaues und 
Grundeigentums stehen. Und auch der Erauenraub kommt erst auf 
diesen Stufen haufiger vor." Op. cit., p. 9. 

2 "Erst bei Volkern, welche schon auf der Stufe des Hirtenlebens 
Oder aber des Ackerbaues und Grundeigentums stehen, stossen wir nicht 
selten auf die Erscheinung, dass haufig mehrere Brttder oder Verwandte 
eine Frau gemelnsam besitzen, oder sogar Einzelne in einem Zustande 
voUkommener Ehelosigkeit leben." Op. cit., p. 13. 

3 Principles of Sociology, p. 155. 



74 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



which borders upon promiscuity. This observation is con- 
firmed by two considerations : (1) There are certain fea- 
tures in the Egyptian, as well as in the Semitic, religion, 
which point to a previous condition of polyandry; ^ and 
it is possible that the institution was developed before the 
separation of the Semites from the Hamites. (2) The 
conditions of life in Arabia and, to a certain extent, in 
North Africa outside of Egypt, where, as in Arabia, there 
are many deserts with occasional oases, are such that no 
people could live long by hunting and fishing. The first 
of these considerations will be more fully discussed in the 
next chapter, but to the second some space may be devoted 
here. 

Fishing could never have been an important feature of 
life in Arabia except upon the sea coasts, for the absence 
of large rivers, and indeed, except in the oases, of water 
of any sort, would render it impossible. Hunting has, 
down to the present time, played some part in Arabian 
life. Hares, wild goa'ts, gazelles, wild cows, and ostriches 
may still be found in small numbers; and the Solluby 
tribe, who have no real home, but pay tribute to all the 
tribes, still live largely by hunting.^ If the theory of 
Wallace, 3 that this region once contained larger forests 
and more abundant water, be true, it can only have been 
many, many centuries ago. Probably the camel and goat, 
to which he ascribes the destruction of the forests, were 
in Arabia before the Semites were. It is tolerably cer- 
tain that, since the Semites entered it, the conditions of 
the peninsula have been practically what they are to-day. 
Here and there oases are found where a little water pro- 
duces grass, trees, and vegetation, but in many of these 
nothing of importance is produced without irrigation.* 

1 Cf. Maspero's Dawn of Givilization, New York, 1897, p. 50 ff. 

2 See Doughty's Arabia Deserta, Vol. I, pp. 281 ff., 362 ff., 487 ft, 
Vol. II, pp. 9 ff., 70, and 216-218. 

" See above, p. 26. 

* On Arabian oases, cf. Vi^ellsted's Travels in Arabia, Vol. I, pp. 92 ff. 
and 272 ff. ; Palgrave's Central and Eastern Arabia, Vol. I, pp. 20, 48 ff.. 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 75 

Here and there, however, palms grow without artificial 
watering.! Much of the country is covered with volcanic 
mountains, from which protrude bare crags of igneous 
rocks, and which produce almost no vegetation. The inter- 
vening plains are covered with dry gravel, which is 
exceedingly unproductive, while between the central and 
eastern portions of the peninsula there extend immense 
deserts of shifting sand.^ The lack of water and the 
intense heat must have always made it difficult for savage 
man to venture far from a spring. It is clear that in such 
a country no large population could live by hunting; the 
game itself would find the conditions of life too severe to 
exist in large quantities. The Semite must have been 
compelled to domesticate the goat and camel at an early 
date, in order to obtain the milk which is so important a 
part of Arabian diet. The date palm, which extended, 
so Fischer and Hehn declare,^ in prehistoric times, from 
the Canaries to Pen jab, and which now produces the staple 
article of diet of so much of the Arabian population, must 
have early revealed its virtues to the Semitic mind, and 
thus called forth Semitic ingenuity for its cultivation.* 

258 ff., Vol. II, p. 360 ; Blunt's Pilgrimage to Nejd, Vol. I, p. 113 ; and 
Euting's Tagbuch einer Reise in Inner-Arabien, pp. 68, 121, 123 ff. 

1 See Doughty's Arabia Deserta, Vol. II, p. 10, and Theobald Fischer 
in Petermann's Mittheilungen, Erganzungsband XIV, No. 64, p. 10. 

2 Cf. W^ellsted, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 241; Palgrave, op. cit., Vol. II, 
pp. 132 fi., 136 ff., 153, 356-358 ; Blunt, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 67, 156-185 ; 
Doughty, op. at., Vol. I, pp. 419-422, 424, 425; and Euting, op. cit., 
p. 142 ff. 

' See Theobald Fischer in Petermann's Mittheilungen, Erganzungs- 
band XIV, No. 64, p. 1, and Hehn's Oulturpflanzen und Hausthiere, 6th 
ed., p. 273. 

* There should be no real doubt that the date-palm was known to the 
primitive Semites in ancient Arabia. It extended in prehistoric times 
from the Canaries to Penjab (see Hehn's CuUurpflanzen und Hausthiere, 
6th ed., p. 273), or "from the Atlantic to the Himalayas" (so Theobald 
Fischer, in Petermann's Mittheilungen, Erganzungsband, XIV, No. 64, 
p. l),and "belonged to the desert and oasis peoples of the Semites" 
(Hehn, op. cit., p. 263). This fact was doubted by von Kremer and Guidi, 
as noted above in ch. i, on linguistic grounds, but without sufficient reason. 



76 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



Thus in Arabia, as has so often been the case in other 
countries where the conditions of life are hard, necessity 
compelled man at an early period to form a somewhat 
advanced social organization. The conditions in which 
such relations between the sexes as we have described 

It is true the Semitic tongues have no common word for palm ; it is gis- 
himmaru in Babylonian and Assyrian, diqld in Aramaic, tamar in Hebrew, 
nakhlu" in Arabic, and tamrt in Ethiopic ; but as we pointed out above 
(p. 22), Bertin has correctly observed (Journal of the Anthropological 
Institute, Vol. XI, pp. 423-433), that it is the animals and plants which 
are most common which always have the most names, and that some of 
these may have survived in one dialect and others in others. It will be 
noticed that the Hebrew and Ethiopic words for palm tree are identical. 
Such a resemblance in two such widely separated dialects of the North 
and South Semites shows, as Hommel long ago pointed out (Die Namen 
der Saugthiere, p. 412), that this word was the name of it in the primitive 
Semitic tongue. This is confirmed by the fact that in Arabic tamr means 
" date," and then " fruit " in general, while tamara means to "feed with 
dates." The use of tamr as date must have been a specialization of the 
term for palm, when nakhlw^, the word for "tree," was narrowed to 
mean "palm tree." That nakhlu", the more general term, could be 
narrowed to the palm shows that that was the tree par excellence. The 
Babylo-Assyrian term is apparently borrowed from a non-Semitic 
people. Whence the Aramaic daqla came, it is not easy to say. Yaqut 
(in his Geographical Dictionary, Vol. II, p. 580) speaks of a place, Dagala, 
in south Arabia. " where date palms are found," which would show that 
this term was also used in Sabsea. Perhaps it is this fact which led 
Robertson Smith to say (^Religion of the Semites, 2d ed., p. 109), that 
the date-palm was introduced into Arabia from Yemen and Syria, — a 
statement impossible of proof. Surely the word daqld is not proof. One 
could more plausibly prove from tamr that it was introduced from Pales- 
tine and Ethiopia, which would surely be false. Hommel, when he wrote 
Die Namen der Saugthiere, held that the date palm was a native of 
Babylonia, but now says that it was introduced thither from Arabia 
(Hastings's Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. I, p. 214). It is much more 
likely, as Hehn says, that the palm was native throughout all North 
Africa and Southwestern Asia. The culture of it would probably arise 
first in an oasis country like Arabia, and may have been introduced 
thence to Babylonia, as Hommel believes, and also to Egypt, as Hehn 
thinks (op. cit., p. 274). Theobald Fischer, the scholar who has most 
thoroughly investigated the date palm, holds that Arabia was the original 
home of its culture, and it was thence introduced into Babylonia and 
Egypt (op. cit; p. 11). The position taken in the text is therefore 
thoroughly justified. 



PKIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 77 

could exist, even if, with Hilderbrand and Giddings, we 
recognize that they can exist only in a pastoral and semi- 
agricultural life, must have been present in the peninsula 
not long, at most, after the Semitic occupation of the 
country. 

The importance of the date palm, for the sustenance and 
development of Semitic life, can hardly be overestimated. 
The palm leaves are to-day plaited into string mats and 
baskets, and the bark into ropes. The dates themselves 
form a staple article of Arabian diet, some of the people 
having almost no other source of sustenance ; ^ they are 
exported as far as Damascus and Baghdad,^ and in return 
the Arabs are able to obtain a few articles from the out- 
side world. The stones are ground and used for the food 
of cows, sheep, and camels ; ^ syrup and vinegar are made 
from old dates, and, by some who disregard the Qur'an, 
a kind of brandy ; * and altogether the statement of Pal- 
grave is not too strong : " They are the bread of the land, 
the staff of life, and the staple of commerce." * They still 
serve, in some parts of Arabia, as the standard of value, 
as cattle do among shepherd peoples.® They cast a dense 
shade, which, in contrast to the hot Arabian atmosphere, 
must be exceeding ly_ grateful.^ Europeans regard the 
dates as a not altogether pleasing staple of diet;^ but in 
a land which produces so sparingly it is regarded as a 
divine gift. An Arabic proverb declares that a good 
housewife knows how to set before her husband a new 

1 Cf. Doughty, Arabia Deserta, Vol. I, p. 148, Vol. II, p. 178. 

' Central and Eastern Arabia, Vol. I, p. 60. 

s In addition to the references in the two preceding notes, cf. Well- 
sted's Travels in Arabia, Vol. I, pp. 94, 164 ff., 241, 288 ff., Vol. II, 
pp. 112, 122, 419 ; Euting's Tagbuch einerlteise in Inner- Arabien, pp. 52, 
53 ; Palgrave, op. cit.. Vol. I, p. 263 ; and Zwemer, Arabia, p. 123. For 
the statement about vinegar and brandy, see Zwemer. 

* Ibid. 

' Central and Eastern Arabia, Vol. I, p. 60. 

6 Doughty, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 332. 

' Wellsted, op. cit. Vol. I, p. 94. 

8 Palgrave, op. cit.. Vol. I, p. 60 ; and Doughty, op. cit, Vol. I, p. 148. 



78 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



preparation of date food each day in the month. ^ Much 
thought has to be devoted to the culture of the date palm 
in many places in order to make it grow. In many parts 
of the peninsula it must be irrigated, and in some parts 
water for the purpose must be conducted considerable dis- 
tances. ^ The female flowers of the date palm must be 
artificially impregnated from the male flowers, unless a 
male tree happens to grow where the winds will naturally 
carry the pollen to the female flowers. This is now some- 
times done by planting a male tree in the midst of the 
female ones ; but even as late as the early part of the pres- 
ent century, Wellsted observed in the Sinaitic peninsula 
an old method, once perhaps more widely used in Arabia, 
of fastening a bunch of the male flowers on a branch ex- 
posed to the wind, and so placed that it would disseminate 
the jjollen over the flowers to be fertilized.^ In Mesopo- 
tamia the method which the ancient sculptures attest, and 
which is still employed,* was to climb the tree and sprinkle 
the pollen over the flowers. This insured the fertilization 
of each flower. That this tree and its culture played a 
very important part in the development of ancient Semitic 
life we may therefore well believe. Mohammed is said 
to have addressed his followers thus : " Honor your pater- 
nal aunt, the date palm. It was named our paternal aunt 
because it was created of what was left from the clay of 
Adam ; and it resembles mankind because it stands upright 
in figure and height, and it distinguishes between its male 
and female, and has the peculiarity (among plants) of 
impregnating the latter. " ^ This high estimation of the 

1 Erdekunde, von Carl Ritter, Berlin, 1779-1857, Vol. XIII, p. 804. 
Cf. Zwemer's Arabia, p. 123. 

2 Cf. Wellsted, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 92-94 ; Euting, op. cit., pp. 52, 53 ; 
and Glaser in Mittheilungen der vorderasiatische Qesellschaft, 1897, 
pp. 373-376 and 425. 

» Wellsted, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 12. 
* Zwemer's Arabia, the Cradle of Islam, p. 123. 

" Reported by Qazwini (1203-83, cf. Brockelmann's Qeschichte der 
arabischen Literatur, Bd. I, Weimar, 1898, p. 481). The text is published 



PRIMITIVE SEMITIC SOCIAL LIFE 79 

palm is confirmed by an Aramaic inscription from Taima, 
which, though much mutilated, shows that a part of the 
fruit of a date orchard was consecrated to a god, ^ and by 
the further fact that Nakhla, one of the seats of the wor- 
ship of the goddess Al-Uzza,^ derived its name from the 
date palm. The connection of the date palm with the 
goddess will be established in the next chapter, and it 
will there appear that the part played by this tree in the 
evolution of Semitic civilization was of the greatest im- 
portance. Fischer declares that the r81e which the Arabic 
people have played in the world's history is closely bound 
up with this, its sacred tree.^ If we substitute Semitic 
people for Arabic, the statement remains equally true. 
We can understand, from the economic value of this tree 
and from the demand which its artificial propagation made 
upon the Semite, as an increasing population made such 
artificial culture necessary, something of the importance 
it would assume in his eyes ; but to fully appreciate it, 
we must learn the divine significance which he attached 
to it, the reflex of his own social life which he saw in it, 
and how he attributed to it all his knowledge, especially 
the knowledge of sex and procreation. The social and 
the religious life of the people are always interwoven. 
These conceptions, which are so important for the social 
life, as well as the religious feasts, which form so large 
a part of the social intercourse of any people, will be 
considered in the next chapter. 

The discussion in the present chapter has, I think, 
made the following points clear: The Semites, perhaps 

in S. de Sacy's Chrestomathie arabe, "Vol. Ill, p. 175, French translation, 
Vol. Ill, p. 395. 

1 Cf. CIS., Ft. II, Vol. I, No. 113. 

2 Cf. Wellhausen's Meste arabische Heidentums, 2(1 ed., p. 36; and 
Sebraica, Vol. X, p. 64. 

" "Wir konnen daher sagen, das auch die weltgeschichtliche RoUe, 
•welche das arabische Volk gespielt hat, in engstem Zugammenhange mit 
diesem seinem heiligen Baum steht." Petermann's Mittheilungen, Ergan- 
zungsband XIV, Heft. 64, p. 10. 



80 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



as early as the time of their separation from the Hamites, 
had reached the animistic stage of culture, and formed 
totemistic clans. Their family relations were exceed- 
ingly vague. Marriage was for a short term, women 
resided in the homes of their own kindred, and descent 
was reckoned through them ; the killing of female infants 
created a paucity of women, which produced a condition 
of polyandry resembling the Nair type. At the same 
time there was much sexual irregularity, which was 
regarded as innocent. Out of this there grew, through 
the formation of small trading clans and the influence of 
the capture of women, a system of Thibetan polyandry 
and, later, a system of male kinship. Perhaps at the time 
of their separation from the Hamites, and at all events 
comparatively early, they had entered the pastoral and 
semi-agricultural stage of culture, in which the cultivation 
of the date palm played an important part. 



CHAPTER III 

SEMITIC BELIGIOUS OKIGINS 

Many features of the religion of the primitive Semitic 
people were successfully elucidated by the late Robertson 
Smith in his epoch-making work, The Religion of the 
Semites. In most respects it is, as yet, impossible to 
advance beyond the position there taken. The primitive 
Semitic community was, as he has so well shown, thought 
by them to be made up of gods, men, and animals, all of 
whom were akin to one another. All nature was peopled 
with spirits, but the god of a people was the chief spirit 
of the locality where that people dwelt. The gods were 
confined each to its own tribe or clan, and in their activi- 
ties they were limited to certain localities. They were 
originally chthonic, and were identified with objects on 
the earth before they were associated with heavenly bodies. 
In this chthonic period they were especially associated 
with springs, wells, and trees, and were regarded as the 
proprietors of naturally watered land. The bond between 
them and their worshippers was thought to be one of 
physical kinship, and was believed to be renewed by sac- 
rifice. The latter was originally conceived as a meal at 
which both the gods and their worshippers partook of the 
flesh of a victim which was akin to them both. Each clan 
had its own god which it especially worshipped, though it 
did not deny the reality of the gods of other clans. Each 
god was limited in his activities largely to his own soil ; 
and when one lived in the territory of a clan not his own 
he must, in addition to his own god, worship the god of 
the soil on which he resided. 
G 81 



82 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



These positions Smith has satisfactorily established, and 
it is not necessary to reopen their discussion here. In 
one respect, however, it is possible to carry the investiga- 
tion farther than Smith did, and to determine the gender 
of the chief deities of the primitive Semites, the connec- 
tion of their gods with the social organization outlined in 
the preceding chapter, and some of the transformations 
wrought in the conception of their nature by changed 
economic conditions, migrations, and syncretism. 

It is a law which may be regarded as practically univer- 
sal, that the religious conceptions of a people are expressed 
in forms which are modelled, in large degree, on those 
political and social institutions which the economical con- 
ditions of their situation have produced. Thus, a god 
could not be conceived as a father where marriage was so 
unstable that fatherhood was no recognized feature of the 
social structure, nor as a king among a people into whose 
experience the institution of kingship had never entered. 
An illustration of this principle may be found in the fact 
that republican institutions are, by their influence, gradu- 
ally banishing the kingly idea of God from theological 
discussions, and are leading to an emphasis of the father- 
hood, and even brotherhood of God.i We should there- 
fore, on general principles, be led to suppose that the 
prominence of the mother and the institutions of mater- 
nal kinship among the primitive Semitic clans, as well 
as their tendency to unregulated intercourse and the 
important functions of the date palm, all left a deep 
impress on their religious ideas and practices. Indeed, 
we may be sure that this is the case, especially as a 
large mass of evidence has survived which is only intel- 
ligible when interpreted in the light of these general 
laws. 

A considerable mass of this evidence was presented in 

1 Cf . Can I believe in Ood the Father ? by "W. N. Clarke, Soribners, 
1899, oh. iii; and "Fides et Spes Medici," by Dr. E. H. Thomas in 
Present Day Papers, London, Vol. Ill (1900), p. 377. 



SEMITIC RELIGIOUS OEIGINS 83 

the writer's study, "The Semitic Ishtar Cult," ^ the main 
conclusions of which are confirmed by further investiga- 
tion. Additional material has also now been collected, 
so that it is possible, in several respects, to carry the sub- 
ject farther, and to prove more clearly than in 1894 that 
the primitive Semitic religion was organized on the analo- 
gies of its economic and social life. In the article men- 
tioned the Ishtar cult was shown to be coextensive with 
the Semitic peoples, traces of it appearing in Assyria, 
Babylonia, north and south Arabia, Ethiopia, Nabathsea, 
Moab, Palestine, Phoenicia, Cyprus, Malta, Sicily, and 
Carthage. With three exceptions, the deity in all these 
countries which received the largest share of the popular 
homage was a mother goddess, and a patroness of unmar- 
ried love. In Babylonia, Arabia, and Cyprus virgins 
must sacrifice to her their chastity by an act of free love ; 
at Byblos this might be commuted to a sacrifice of the 
hair; and at Carthage and elsewhere her feasts were 
attended by impure ceremonies, in which sexual excesses 
formed a prominent feature. The Israelites found this 
cult among the Canaanites, and adopted, as most scholars 
hold, many features of its ritual. At all events, by the 
time of the prophets the feasts of Yahwe were foul with 
deeds most subversive of spiritual ideas. 

Connected with this worship in historical times were 
bands of priestesses (and often of priests) consecrated to 
a service which, judged by modern standards, would be 
prostitution. Ukhat, the creature who in the Eabani 
episode ^ enticed that primitive man from his animals, was 
a prototype and model of this order. With primitive 
simplicity she unblushingly enticed him to the satisfac- 
tion of desire, and is, in the Gilgamish epic, celebrated 
for her act.^ 

1 Published in Hehraica, Vol. IX, pp. 1.31-165, and Vol. X, pp. 1-74. 
Cf. also notes on the same topic in Hehraica, Vol. X, pp. 202-205. 

2 See above, p. 43. 

' Cf. Haupt's Nimrodepos, p. 11, 11. 16-21. For translations of the pas- 
sage, cf. Jastrow, Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 477 ; Jensen in 



84 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



There can be no doubt that the mother goddess whose 
worship is thus widely diffused is a survival from primi- 
tive Semitic times, when the mother held the chief place 
in the clan, and all women shared a measure of free love. 
As social conditions changed, the women who adhered to 
the old practices would all have lost caste and become 
despised harlots but for the fact that the social character 
of the service of the goddess protected some of them. As 
civilization advanced, it is probable that religious con- 
servatism became a cloak for much that was vile and de- 
basing. In the beginning, however, the practices which 
were thus perpetuated must have been comparatively in- 
nocent, since they but reflected the best thought of primi- 
tive man with reference to manifestations of the divine. 

The goddess Ishtar reflects, as was noted in the preced- 
ing chapter, by her various unions the brevity of the mar- 
riage tie among the primitive Semites. She married a 
lion, a horse, and a bird, each for a brief space. She 
desired to unite herself to Gilgamish, the hero of Uruk 
(Erech), but he declined her advances. Thus, the myth 
concerning her and the ritual by which she was served 
reflect two different phases of primitive Semitic life, — 
the temporary marriage and the consecration of the func- 
tions of woman to the service of childbearing by one or 
more acts of free love. 

These features of her worship, taken in connection with 
its universal diffusion among the Semites, renders us 
certain of its existence in the primitive Semitic home. 

It is important for us to note, also, that Ishtar was not 
only the divinity who presided over human love, but over 
all animal desire as well. Once when, according to an 
ancient poem, she abandoned the earth for the lower world, 
animals as well as men lost desire altogether. ^ 

KB., Vol. VI, p. 127 ; and Muss-Arnolt in Assyrian and Babylonian 
Literature, Aldine ed. , p. 330. 

1 Cf. Hebraica, Vol. IX, p. 147 ; and Jeremlas's Leben nach dem Tode, 
p. 17. 



SEMITIC RELIGIOUS ORIGINS 85 

Connected with the worship of Ishtar was the worship 
of the god called in Babylonia Dumu-zi or Tammuz. The 
fourth month was named for him, and one of the chief 
features of his worship was a ceremony of wailing for his 
death, which was followed by wild rejoicing that he had 
come to life. Prominent among the forms under which 
this joy manifested itself was indulgence in unwedded 
love.i Tammuz is variously represented in Semitic 
mythology as son of Ishtar, as the first of her series of 
rejected husbands, and as the beloved and lost husband of 
her youth, whom she went to the under world to rescue.^ 
These myths represent conceptions which were formed by 
three different stages of social progress. That which sees 
in Tammuz Ishtar's son is a reflection of the primitive 
Semitic family, the head of which is the mother, and the 
chief male her son. The second, which makes him a 
rejected husband, comes from a time a little later, when 
marriage was still temporary and women quite free, but 
when the original kindly relations between Ishtar and 
Tammuz had been forgotten. According to this view, the 
Tammuz wailing was a consequence of Ishtar's hatred and 
vengeance, and not of her grief at his loss, as in the former 
case. The third form of the myth reflects the later con- 
ception of marriage as a more permanent and less sensual 
relation. In the light of primitive Semitic social con- 
ditions, there can be no doubt but that the first of these 
conceptions is the original one. 

Many scholars agree that Tammuz was in some way con- 
nected with vegetation, and that the legend of his death 
was a reflection of the annual dying of the leaves.^ To 

1 Cf. Lucian's De Syria Dea, § 6 ; Ez. 8" ; and Hebraica, Vol. X, 
pp. .31, 35, 73. 

2Cf. II R. 36, 54; II R. 59, col. ii, 1. 9 ; IV R. 31, esp. col. li, 
L 46 ff. ; Haupt's Nimrodepos, p. 44, 1. 46 fi. ; and Hebraica, Vol. X, 
pp. 73, 74. 

' Cf. Jensen, Kosmologie der Babylonier, pp. 197, 227 ; Frazer, Golden 
Bough, Vol. I, pp. 278-396 ; Jeremias, Leben nach dem Tode, pp. 32, 41 ; 
Nowack, ArchcBologie, Vol. II, p. 310 ; Bertholet, Das Buck Hezekiel, 



86 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



this opinion I adhered when the " Ishtar Cult " ^ was 
written, and further study confirms it. Robertson Smith 
was probably right in the opinion that the wailing at first 
began as a mourning for the death of a theanthropic 
victim,^ but there can be little doubt but that it was very 
shortly associated with the death of vegetation, Lenor- 
mant ^ and Halevy * are, I now think, wrong in claiming 
a Semitic origin for the name, and it is not probable 
that this origin was connected with vegetation except 
indirectly.* Adonis, the name under which Lucian men- 
tions him, is but an epithet which, in Phoenicia, had dis- 
placed the original name, as other epithets displaced it 
elsewhere. The original name is hopelessly lost. 

The opinion expressed in the " Ishtar Cult " that Ishtar 
was originally a water goddess, the divinity of some never 
failing spring or springs, and that some sacred tree to 
which the spring gave life represented her son,* can now 
be confirmed by additional arguments. 

The reasons which led to the adoption of that opinion 
were : (1) that Athtar, in a number of Sabsean inscrip- 
tions, is called " lord of the water supply " ; ® (2) an old 

p. 49 ; Jastrow, Beligion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 682 ff. ; and Toy, 
Ezekiel in SBOT.,p. Ill ff. 

1 Hebraica, Vol. X, pp. 73, 74. The hymn to Tammuz, IV K. 27, 
No. 1, specifically connects 'him with vegetation. Cf. Ball's translation, 
FSB A., Vol. XVI, p. 196. The name is, however, Sumerian, and means 
" child of life " or " living child." It probably refers to Tammuz as the 
child of the goddess of fertility. 

' Beligion of the Semites, 2d ed., p. 411. 

° Sur le nom Tammuz. 

* Becherches bibliques, p. 95, and Melanges de critique et d'histoire, 
p. 177. 

' Hebraica, Vol. X, p. 73. I am now convinced, however, that the 
name Tammuz is not primitive, but Sumerian Babylonian. It was at 
times even applied to a goddess (see below, Chapter V). While the name 
Tammuz was local (cf. my article, " The Genesis of the God Eshmun," 
in JAOS., Vol. XXI,2 p. 188 ff.), the god was, I believe, primitive, though 
a less permanent and fundamental factor in the religion than the 
goddess. 

» See CIS., Pt. IV, Vol. I, No. 47, and Fell, in ZDMa., YoLlAY, 
p. 245. 



SEMITIC RELIGIOUS ORIGINS 87 

Babylonian hymn calls Ishtar " the producer of verdure " ; ^ 

(3) the god Baal, with whom Ashtart in Phoenicia was 
closely associated, was the god of well-watered land; 

(4) the evident connection of Tammuz with vegetation; 
and (5) the series of tree-like representations of the god- 
dess found by Ohnefalsch-Richter in Cyprus. 

To these arguments we may now add the following 
considerations: the fact that in two inscriptions from 
Gebal-Din, Athtar is the god of field fertility, which is 
in Arabia especially connected with the water supply,^ 
forms another link connecting this cult with water and 
vegetation. Ilmaqqahu, who, as is shown below,^ was 
really Athtar under another name, was also the god of 
field fertility.* Traces of tree-worship also appear, which, 
if the Ishtar Cult represents the religion of the primitive 
Semites, must be regarded as survivals from that time. 
Trees were thought to be animate and to have perceptions 
and passions, and were not infrequently taken as totems.® 
In the latter case, all the attributes were ascribed to them 
which under like circumstances were ascribed to sacred 
animals. This proves the existence of that attitude of 
mind on the part of the Semites which could easily see a 
god in a tree. It still survives in Arabia, where certain 
trees are thought to be inhabited by the jinn even to the ^ 
present time.® Such trees were probably in the pre-Islamic 
days regarded as the residences of gods, who, upon the 
introduction of Islam, shared the fate of other deities and 
were deposed to the rank of evil spirits. In like manner 
the Jews and early Christians regarded the gods of the 
heathen as demons.^ Sometimes, however, it is not jinn 

1 Cf. Zimmem's Bahylonische Busspsalmen, p. 33, and JSebraica, Vol; 
X, p. 15. 

2 See CIS., Pt. IV, Vol. I, Nos. 104, 105. » chapter IV. 

* Cf. cm, Pt. IV, Vol. I, Nos. 72-102, and Fell, in ZDMO., Vol. LIV, 
p. 244 ff. 

6 Smith's Beligion of the Semites, 2d ed., p. 132. 
8 Doughty's Arabia Deserta, Vol. I, p. 365. 
' Cf, Deut. 32" and 1 Cor. lO^o. 



88 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



but angels who are thought to come down to tabernacle in 
the trees ; and it is still the custom in parts of Arabia for 
the sick to go to trees which are thus visited and offer 
sacrifice and prayer for the recovery of their health. The 
offering is usually a sheep or a goat, the blood is sprinkled, 
the flesh cooked at the place, a part of it is divided among 
the friends of the sick man and a part left hanging on the 
branches of the tree. The worshipper then lies down and 
sleeps, confident that the angels will come in vision and 
speak precepts for his health so that he will rise whole.^ 
Such possessed trees are behung with old beads, votive 
shreds of calico, lappets of colored stuffs and other such 
things.^ This is a relic of old Arabian heathenism, in 
which offerings were made in the same manner. The tra- 
ditions tell that Mohammed referred to such a tree as " a 
tree to hang things on." ^ 

Such traces of worship are not now found in connection 
with the palm tree in Arabia, but more often with the acacia, 
though at times with other trees and even with shrubs. 
Some evidences of the worship of the palm tree in ancient 
times are still extant. Tabari refers to the sacred date- 
palm of Negran, where the tree was in all respects treated 
as a god.* The residence of Al-Uzza at Nakhla, who was 
in reality an Athtar,* is said by Ibn Abbas to have been a 
group of Samura trees, in one of which the goddess espe- 
cially dwelt. The Samura tree is explained by a scholion 
to Ibn Hisham (p. 145) to be a palm tree.^ The reliabil- 

1 Doughty's Arabia Deserta, Vol. I, p. 449 ff. 

* Smith's Beligion of the Semites, 2d ed., p. 185. 

' Cf. Annates quos scripsit at-Tabari, van M. J. de Goeje, Leyden, 
1879-1897, Vol. I, p. 922, and Geschichte der Ferser und Araber zur Zeit 
der Sassniden aus der arabisch Chronik des Tabari, von Th. Noldeke, 
Leyden, 1879, p. 181. Smith (pp. cit., p. 185) holds that the statement 
is incredible because it rests on the authority of a liar ; but liars some- 
times tell the truth. 

* Cf. Hebraica, Vol. X, pp. 58-66. 

' Wellhausen's Beste arabische Heidentums, 2d ed., p. 38. Well- 
hausen suspects this statement, because the vale of Nakhla (Palms) was 
80 near. That, however, does not prove the statement wrong. 



SEMITIC EELIGIOUS ORIGINS 89 

ity of these statements has been unjastly suspected by 
Wellhausen and Robertson Smith. The story of the birth 
of Jesus, as told in the Qur'an, vouches for the ancient 
sacredness of the palm. According to the statement of 
Mohammed, which probably comes from Arabian Chris- 
tians, Mary retired to a palm tree (Sura, 19^) as the time 
of her delivery drew near, and was miraculously nourished 
by dates produced out of season (19^^). Such a state- 
ment reveals the conception that the palm tree was closely 
related to the divine. All these references coincide with 
a number of facts from other parts of the Semitic world 
which indicate that the date palm was sacred, and thus 
receive a confirmation which establishes a strong pre- 
sumption of their truth. 

In Abyssinia as in Egypt the sycamore was a sacred 
tree, and in some instances still maintains this character.^ 

The terebinth was a sacred tree in Palestine. It plays 
a prominent part in the traditions concerning Abraham 
(Gen. 131^ 1413, 181), Gideon received a message from an 
angel under one (Jud. G^^), and" in the days of Hosea in- 
cense was burned under terebinths (Hos. 4^^). There are 
traces also that the date-palm was a sacred tree in Israel. 
Deborah is said to have sat under a palm tree, and is called 
a prophetess (Jud. 4^), the inference being that the palm 
was sacred, and that it helped her inspiration to be near 
it. Some scholars endeavor to identify this with the tere- 
binth of Gen. 35^ but without sufficient ground.^ There 
is reason, as will appear below, to believe that the tree of 
knowledge in Gen. 3 was a date palm. Evidence of this 
also comes to us from the Jewish book of Enoch. In the 
oldest portion of the Ethiopic Enoch we are told (ch. 24) 
how Enoch visited paradise, and found that the tree of life 
was a date-palm. 3 The full significance of this statement 

1 Cf. Bent's Sacred City of the Ethiopians, p. 210. 

2 So Moore, Judges in Inter. C'rit. Comm., p. 113, and Budde, Richter, 
in Marti's Kurzer Sand Commentar, p. 35. On the other hand, cf. H. P. 
Smith's Samuel in Inter. Grit. Comm. , p. 67. 

8 Cf. Charles's The Book of Enoch, 1893. Charles rightly dates this 
portion of the book before 170 b.c. 



90 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



will appear at a later point ; it is enough to note at pres- 
ent that it affords evidence that the date-palm as a sacred 
tree played a very important role in the thought of ancient 
Israel. Other evidence of this is not wanting. The story 
of Judah and Tamar (Gen. 38) indicates, since Tamar 
means palm, that a clan was incorporated into the tribe 
of Judah which made the palm a totem, and therefore 
regarded it as a sacred tree. Further, on the confines of 
Judah and Benjamin, there was a place, Baal-Tamar, which 
took its name from a god who must have been called "lord 
of the palm" (Jud. 20^). Earlier it seems to have been 
called Baalat-Tamar, or " lady of the palm." In all prob- 
ability the name was derived from an early connection of 
a deity with a sacred tree. 

At Elim, one of the stations at which the Israelites are 
said to have stopped on the way out of Egypt, the palm had 
a sacred significance, since it is connected with the sacred 
number seventy and with twelve sacred wells (Ex. 15^). 
Jericho, too, was called the " city of palm trees " (Deut. 
34^, Jud. 11^ 3^3), and it is probable that there in early 
times the palm had a sacred significance. The fact that 
the palm tree and cherub formed part of the adornment of 
the interior of the temple of Ezekiel (Ez. 41i^) and of the 
temple of Solomon affords further proof of the same thing. 
We cannot doubt, therefore, that the palm was a sacred 
tree among the Hebrews or their immediate ancestors. 

The numerous representations of trees on Babylonian 
and Assyrian cylinders and monuments attest, as several 
scholars have recognized, a primitive tree worship for the 
ancient Babylonians or their ancestors. The tree most 
represented, however, is the date-palm, and this is shown 
to be in most instances the female date-palm by the hang- 
ing clusters of dates. ^ Many of the representations on 

1 Cf. Schrader in Monatsbericht d. kgl. prens. Ak. d. Wiss. zu Berlin, 
1882, p. 426 ff. Other trees were also saored ; cf. Bonavia's article, 
"Sacred Trees of the Assyrian Monuments" in the Babylonian and 
Oriental Becord, Vol. III. 



SEMITIC RELIGIOUS OEIGINS 91 

the monuments picture a winged being, sometimes with a 
human face and sometimes with an eagle's face, holding in 
one hand a basket or bucket, and in the other a cone which 
he is applying to the tree. That the difference in sex of 
the date-palms was known to the ancient Assyrians is 
attested by a fragment of a list of trees which was found 
in the library of Assurbanipal, but which was probably 
copied from a Babylonian list of much greater antiquity, 
and in which gishimmaru zakiru, or " the male date-palm," 
is distinguished from gishimmaru zinnishtu, or " the female 
date-palm."^ E. B. Tylor first suggested that the winged 
figures which apply the mysterious cones to the trees are 
representations of the winds — personified as divine agen- 
cies — in carrying the pollen of the male flowers to the 
stigmata of the female flowers, so as to fertilize them.^ 
He found in these figures the explanation of the cherubim 
of Ezekiel and of Genesis, as well as of other parts of the 
Old Testament. This seemed especially appropriate, since 
Ps. 18^°, in a description of the coming of Yahwe on a 
thunder cloud, equates the cherub with the wind. This 
view has since been accepted by others,^ and affords a 
most satisfactory explanation of these interesting repre- 
sentations. Some of these portray a fish god, i.e. Ea in 
the act of performing this fecundation. Ea was a water 
god — a god of fertility, originally connected, as will be 
shown by and by, with the primitive Semitic mother goddess.* 
In the legend of Oannes, as preserved in Berossos, and 
which is in reality a myth of Ea, a fish-like monster came, 
we are told, from the sea, and taught the Babylonians the 

1 Cf. II R., p. 46, No. 2, 11. 29, 30. 

2 See FSB A., Vol. XII, pp. 383-393. 

8 Cf. Jastrow's Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 662, and Haupt 
in Toy's Ezekiel in SBOT., pp. 181-184. 

* See Chapter V. The fertilization of the date-palm in Mesopotamia has 
to be performed in part by hand nnto the present time. (See Zwemer's 
Arabia, the Cradle of Islam, p. 123.) This fact explains the anthropomor- 
phic form of the cherub. The wind is conceived as a supernatural man 
applying the fertilization by hand. 



92 SEMITIC OEIGINS 



beginnings of civilization. Among other arts he made 
them distinguish seeds, and taught them how to collect 
fruit. In his hands, therefore, the cone and bucket would 
properly have a place. 

The fact that the sacred character of trees is established 
for so many parts of the Semitic area is good evidence that 
tree worship existed in the primitive Semitic home, and 
the traces of the sacred character of the date-palm which 
have been adduced above lead us to think, when taken in 
connection with what we learned in the previous chapter 
of that tree, that it was the sacred tree par excellence. 

In the same way the idea that perennial springs and 
wells were connected with divinities is found in many 
parts of the Semitic territory, and is no doubt primi- 
tive. At Beersheba, Dan, Sidon,^ on Mount Lebanon,^ 
and at Mecca sacred wells and springs were found, not 
to mention many others. That they do not appear in 
Babylonia is due to the presence of the great rivers and the 
nature of the irrigation of the country ; but the fact that 
Ea was a water god attests there the same circle of ideas. 
We cannot therefore be far wrong in coupling the two — 
the palm tree and the spring — and in seeing a mythologi- 
cal representation of them in the primitive mother goddess, 
Ishtar, and her son Tammuz. Indeed, the well at or near 
Sidon was sacred to Eshmun, a god who, as I have pointed 
out elsewhere,^ was probably developed out of Tammuz by 
the use of an epithet. 

That this is a correct view is confirmed from another 
quarter. The Assyriologists of a score of years ago * re- 
garded the pictures of the sacred tree on Babylonian and 

1 CIS., Pt. I, Vol. I, No. 3, 1. 17. 

2 Cf. Hebraica, Vol. X, pp. 33 and 61-66, and Smith's Beligion of the 
Semites, 2d ed., pp. 166 ff. and 177 f. 

" See the article " Ashmun " (Eshmun) in the Jewish Encyclopedia, and 
"The Genesis of the God Eshmun" in PA08., Vol. XXI 2, p. 188 ff., and 
below, Chapter VI. 

* So George Smith in his Chaldaean Genesis ; see the German transla- 
tion, p. 84 ; also Lenormant in his Origines de Vhistoire, Vol. I, p. 90. 



SEMITIC RELIGIOUS ORIGINS 93 

Assyrian monuments as the prototype of tlie tree of life in 
Gen. 2 and 3, and though this view is rejected by some ^ 
who see in these pictures the date-palm, it is, I believe, 
a hint in the right direction. The Yahwistic writer of 
Gen. 2 and 3 gives us a twofold representation of the cir- 
cumstances of the union of Adam and Eve and its effect. 
In ch. 2 we are told how man, after consorting with the 
beasts, left them for the woman and became "one flesh" 
with her. That this was the original form of the story the 
parallelism of the Eabani and Ukhat episode in the Gil- 
gamish epic enables us to determine.^ It also enables us 
to see that the Rabbis were right in explaining " cleave to 
his wife and become one flesh " as referring to connubial 
intercourse.^ 

In ch. 3 the same thing is differently represented. A 
serpent tells the woman to pluck the fruit from a for- 
bidden tree, she does it, the man and woman both eat of 
it, their eyes are opened, and they know good and evil. 
The first effect of this knowledge was the perception of 
the difference of sex — the perception that they were 
naked. The Rabbis thought that the serpent here repre- 
sented the sexual passion,* but it is doubtful whether 
this is correct. As among many other peoples, the ser- 
pent was sacred ^ among practically all the Semites. He 
belonged no doubt to that primitive totemistic circle of 
society of which we have seen the primitive Semitic com- 
munity to consist. He is here represented as living in 
the primitive garden or oasis, where serpents no doubt 
abounded, and as urging man to partake of an act 
which seemed to him a divinely provided joy. In ch. 2 
and its Babylonian parallel, woman enticed man from in- 

1 So Bonavia, Babylonian and Oriental Record, Vol. Ill, p. 36 ff, 

2 Cf. Jastrow's "Adam and Eve in Babylonian Literature " in AJSL., 
Vol. XV, pp. 192-214. 

3Cf. Jastrow, AJ8L., Vol. XV, p. 207, n. 44. 
M^5'i., Vol. XV, p.209. 

« Cf. Pietschmann's Geschichte der Phonizier, p. 227, andKitteV sKonige 
in Nowack's Hand-Kommentar, p. 278 ff. 



94 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



tercourse with the beasts, so here a beast is represented as 
urging man to union with woman. The two representa- 
tions arose no doubt because of the union of two originally- 
independent explanations. The effect of tasting this 
divine fruit was that man was thereby brought to the 
knowledge of good and evil, i.e. to the exercise of a virile 
manhood ; he was led to adopt clothing, to till the soil, and 
to a knowledge of the various features of civilization. This 
view of the meaning of good and evil is confirmed by 
the fact that in Deut. 1^ " having no knowledge of good 
and evil " is equivalent to not having reached the age of 
puberty. 

But why in this case should the tree appear at all? 
Why should its fruit even symbolically represent such an 
act ? The answer is, I believe, to be found in the fact that 
the beginnings of Seinitic civilization were connected with 
the date-palm, that a knowledge of the difference of sex 
in these trees was known at a very early time, and that 
the marvellous effect on the palms of the fertilization 
wrought by the wind, appeared to the primitive Semitic 
mind as a divine exhibition of sexual fertilization and 
divine approval of it. Thus, the two would become asso- 
ciated in the Semitic mind, and in time the act would 
naturally be pictured as the fruit of the tree. That this 
view represents the truth is shown by the fact that in the 
Biblical narrative cherubim are placed in the gate of the 
garden to prevent the return of man to his Eden of sexual 
unconsciousness. The cherubim were, as we have seen, 
representations of the wind, which bore the fructifying 
pollen of the male flowers to the female, and the introduc- 
tion of the cherubim at this point represents the primitive 
feeling, that the constant enaction of this divine process 
of fertilization in the tree, which stood in the garden of 
his god and which sustained life, forced man onward by its 
divine example to similar acts with all their consequences. 
The ever-present cherubim of the palm kept alive, he 
thought, the sexual passion in himself which made absti- 



SEMITIC RELIGIOUS ORIGINS 95 

nence and a return to conditions which he regarded as 
primitive (i.e. a life in which woman played no part) 
impossible.^ 

Thus the Assyrio-Babylonian sacred tree becomes not 
the prototype in the first instance of the tree of life, but of 
the tree of knowledge of good and evil. A comparison 
of Gen. 33 -^ with Gen. 2^ and 3^2 reveals the fact that in 
the original form of the story only one tree is mentioned. 
The tree of life in the two latter verses is a later addi- 
tion. ^ That such additions should be made to the sub- 
structure we have supposed is shown to have been very 
natural by the following facts. The idea of a future life 
played no important part in primitive Semitic thought. 
The life of the spirit after death was thought by the Baby- 
lonians and Hebrews to be a colorless and undesirable one, 
and to the Arabs of the desert, the idea of an under world, 
seems to have been wholly lacking.* The problem which 
confronted them was the cause of present suffering, and 
not the problem of an immortal life. As the thirst for an 
immortal life was felt, but before it had been accepted as 
a fact, the story of the cause of human suffering would 
naturally be modified to make it explain why man could not 
live forever, and this is the form which we have in Genesis. 
As time went on and a provisional immortality of five hun- 

1 Thus an Arabic poet describes and addresses the palm : — 

"He lifts his leaves in the sunbeam glance 
As the Almehs lift their arms in dance ; 
A slumbersome motion, a passionate sigh, 
That works in the cells of the blood like wine. 
O tree of love, by that love of thine 
Teach me ho w I shall soften mine. ' ' 
— Translated by Zwemer, Arabia, the Cradle of Islam, p. 121 ff. 

" See Die Biblische Urgeschichte, von Karl Budde, Giessen, 1883, p. 
53 ff., and Toy, JBL., Vol. X, p. 12 ff. 

3 See Der AhnenkuUus und die Urreligion Israels, von Carl Griineisen, 
Halle, 1900, p. 55. This seems true notwithstanding Stade {Geschichte, 
Vol. I, p. 395, n. 2) , and Sohwally (Leben nach dem Tode, p. 46, etc.). For 
Babylonian view see Jeremias, Leben nach dem Tode, and for the Hebrew, 
Charles, Eschatology, p. 33 ff. 



96 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



dred years was accepted (Eth. Enoch, 10^"), the tree af 
knowledge disappeared from Eden and the tree of life t#)k 
its place (Eth. Enoch, 24, 25). Thus did Hebrew thought 
transfer the story from an explanation of toil to the prom- 
ise of future reward.^ This transfer was easy; for, in 
another sense, the tree was to the primitive Semite always 
a tree of life as well as a tree of knowledge. The parallels 
which the Eabani story affords to the narrative of Genesis 
vouch for the Babylonian derivation of the latter. This 
is also shown in the fact that the garden is situated in the 
East (Gen. 2^), and that the Tigris and Euphrates rivers 
are mentioned in connection with it^ (Gen. 2"-i^). 

There are in the Eabani episode, as has been already 
pointed out, features which were derived from the primi- 
tive conditions of Semitic social life. Although these 
features have been somewhat veiled in the Biblical narra- 
tive, they are nevertheless present, and that narrative also 
contains another primitive feature which is still more 
prominent. The narrative in Gen. 3 represents God, 
man, and the serpent as forming one social circle. The 

1 On the view presented in the text the historical origin of the Hebre-w 
ideas of Eden and the heavenly paradise or New Jerusalem are as fol- 
lows: The primitive conceptions of a sacred enclosure, where the god 
dwelt and the sacred tree was, grew out of an Arabian oasis, or possibly a 
North African, at a still earlier time (see below). This was transferred to 
Babylonia, where it became a garden. This conception was taken over 
by the Hebrews and is represented iji Gen. 2 and 3. As time passed on 
and Jerusalem was destroyed and rebuilt, the Jewish ideal passed from 
a garden to a city. A garden may have been the home in the beginning, 
but a*ity became their ideal for the future. As Apocalypses were writ- 
ten and their authors sought for imagery under which to shadow forth 
their hopes of the heavenly future, they sometimes took the picture of 
Eden as did the author of Eth. Enoch, 24, 25 ; sometimes the city of Jeru- 
salem, as did the author of Psal. Sol. 17 ; and sometimes the two were com- 
bined as in the Apocalypse of John, where it is a city with twelve gates 
(ch. 21), and yet it has a river with a tree of life, i.e. a garden (oh. 22i-^). 
Thus the imagery born in prehistoric times in the Arabian oasis with its 
palm tree appears, transformed and elevated it is true, but still appears on 
the last page of the New Testament. 

^ See Delitzsoh's Wo Lag das Paradies, Leipzig, 1881, and Haupt, 
in Ueber Land und Meer, 1894-95, No. 15. 



SEMITIC RELIGIOUS ORIGINS 97 

serpent is wiser than man ; he talks to the woman, and his 
power of speech causes her no astonishment. These ele- 
ments of the tale must have taken shape in a primitive 
totemistic society in which animals were really believed 
to possess such powers ; i.e. it reflects the conditions of 
primitive Semitic, and not of Hebrew thought. 

The fact that in Genesis Yahwe is represented as for- 
bidding the acquisition of the knowledge of good and evil 
on the part of man, has, I think, nothing to do with the 
primitive form of the story; it is but the local coloring 
given to the tale by the Yahwistic writer. This writer, in 
the stories of Cain and his descendants which follow, 
attributes the beginnings of civilization in every instance 
to those who disobeyed Yahwe. When he does so in the 
narrative of Eden, he is but following out his prevailing 
tendency. An opportunity was afforded him to thus 
interpret the tale by one of the features of the Babylonian 
story, preserved on a fragmentary tablet, which may form 
a part of the Gilgamish epic. This represents Eabani as 
cursing Ukhat, who had promised to make him like a god 
and who had instead brought him to death.^ This story 
probably reflects the evil effects of the unrestrained sexual 
practices of the Semites, as does also that passage in the 
sixth tablet of the epic where Ishtar's love is represented 
as so terrible that she has smitten and crippled all her 
husbands. Such loose sexual habits as those traced above 
would necessarily produce venereal disease and death, and 
such dire effects might well be interpreted as evidences of 
the anger of the god. In the Eabani episode this view is, 
so far as we can tell, not taken. Eabani's anger is directed 
against the woman alone ; he does not seem to be conscious 
that he has angered a god. This latter inference, how- 
ever, lay close at hand, and could hardly fail to be made 
by a writer whose attitude toward civilization was like 

1 Cf Haupt, JVmrodepos, pp. 16, 17, and 5A, Vol. I, pp. 318, 319; 
also Jastrow, Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 478, and AJ8L., 
Vol. XV, p. 209. 



98 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



that of the Yahwist. Side by side with the Babylonian 
view just described, and older than it, was another, which 
attributed civilization to the knowledge of sex and which 
regarded both as a blessing. Divine approval was mani- 
fested through the example of the sacred tree, which 
was the home of the divinity. It is thus only that we 
can account for the reference of civilization to sexual 
relations, for the sacred character attached to those rela- 
tions among the Semites, and for the connection of both 
with the sacred tree.^ 

Thus our view of the original form of Ishtar is con- 
firmed since in the palm tree, which grows by every 
Arabian spring, and which has grown there since man 
inhabitated Arabia,^ we find that the Semite saw the em- 
bodiment of all those features of vegetable and animal 
fertility which characterize this primitive Semitic cult, 
and which found such expression at a later time in its 
religious practices and in its mythology. Since we are led 
by such reasons to these conclusions, it seems most natural 
to find in the rite of circumcision, which has survived 
among the Arabs, Abyssinians, Syrians, Phoenicians, and 
Hebrews, a confirmation of them, and in them an explana- 
tion of Semitic circumcision. Circumcision has been 
found among many peoples of the world, and is usually 
explained like tattooing, cutting off a finger joint, and 
other mutilations, as embracing the twofold idea of offer- 
ing a sacrifice to the god and furnishing a tribal mark by 
which the god may easily know his followers, and they 
may be known to each other. That it had this latter 
force among the Semites is attested by its history among 
the Hebrews. The Yahwistic writer represents Yahwe 

1 The Biblical writer is in this representation also paralleled by 
another Babylonian tale, the Adapa myth (of. KB., Vol. VI, pp. 92- 
101). This myth represents the god Ea as preventing hy a deception the 
eating of the bread and water of life (i.e. the gaining of immortality), hy 
a mortal. Cf. Gunkel, Schoffing und Chaos, p. 148 ff., and Jastrow, Be- 
ligioH of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 549 ff. 

^ See Theobald Fischer in Petermann's Mittheilungen, Erganzunungs- 
band XIV, No. 64, p. 11, and above. Chapter II, p. 75, n. 4. 



SEMITIC RELIGIOUS ORIGINS 



(Ex. 4^-^) as trying to kill Moses or his son as though 
he were of a foreign stock untU Ger shorn was circumcised, 
when Yah we desisted ; while the priestly writer regarded 
circumcision as the sign of Yahwe's covenant with his 
people (Gen. 17'°"^^ Ex. 12**). Such passages attest the 
religious importance of the rite among the Israelites, and 
the struggle which Paul and the early Christians who 
thought like him were compelled to undertake to gain 
emancipation is sufficient, to mention no other evidence, 
to show the importance attached to it hy the Jews as the 
visible sign to their god and to one another of their 
fidelity. 1 Herodotus mentions the Syrians and Phoeni- 
cians among those who practise circumcision, ^ but of the 
details of its practice among them we know nothing. Of 
its practice among the ancient Arabs we have fuller infor- 
mation. It is mentioned by Josephus and Sozomen as a 
practice of the northern Arabs, and by Philostorgius as a 
practice of the Sabseans.^ Sharastani mentions it as one 
of the practices which Islam confirmed as a religious duty.* 
The way in which it is observed in Arabia at the present 
time attests the truth of this statement. Among the 
Bedawi it is the occasion of a feast at which the rite is 
performed on children of three full years. There is danc- 
ing on the part of the maidens, while the young men stand 
about and select from the dancing throng their wives. A 
sheep is sacrificed, its flesh cooked and eaten near sun- 
down at a feast, while the entrails are left hanging on a 
trophy bush, or sacred tree. After the feast the dancing 
begins again and continues into the evening.^ Among 

1 For a concise sketch of the history of the rite in Israel see the article 
"circumcision" by McAllister in Hastings's Dictionary of the Bible, or 
by Benzinger in the Encyclopedia BiUica. For the Abyssinian custom, 
of. Wylde's Modern Abyssinian, p. 161. 

2 Bk. II, ch. 104. 

8 Josephus, Ant. I, 12^ ; Sozomen, H. E., VI, 38 ; Philostorgius, H. E., 
Ill, 4. Of. also Nowack's Archdologie, Vol. I, p. 167. 

* See Haarbruoker's translation of Sharastani, Vol. II, p. 354. 
s Doughty 's Arabia Deserta, Vol. I, pp. 340, 341. 



100 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



other Arabs it is the custom to make the child ride on the 
back of the sacrificial sheep. ^ At Mecca there still exists 
a similar custom of performing circumcision in connection 
with a sacrificial feast.^ Here the operation is performed 
from the third to the seventh year, and is performed on 
female children as well as upon male. 

The circumstances under which it is performed in 
Arabia point to the origin of circumcision as a sacrifice to 
the goddess of fertility, by which the child was placed 
under her protection and its reproductive powers conse- 
crated to her service. The slaughter of the sheep was 
originally not simply for domestic purposes, since all 
slaughter of domestic animals was sacrificial.^ The con- 
secration of the child by such an offering, in addition to 
the regular sacrificial victim, is parallel to the sacrifice of 
chastity by which women consecrated their wombs to the 
goddess of childbearing at Babylonia and Byblos.* In the 
dance and the selection of future wives by the young Arabs 
in the Bedawi ritual we see a survival in a purified form 
of an old love feast, such as must have accompanied in one 
form or another all the feasts of the Semitic mother god- 
dess, and to which Augustine and Ephraem bear witness.^ 
Originally circumcision seems to have been a preparation 
for connubium.^ Its transfer to infancy may, as W. R. 

1 Doughty, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 391. 

2 See Snouck Hurgronje's Mekka, Vol. II, pp. 141-143. Among the 
Hamitic Somalis of East Africa, who are deeply penetrated with Arabic 
influence, boys are circumcised at seven years of age, and girls are infibu- 
lated at ten. The hair is cut short at the same time, so that a long-haired 
person and an uncircumcised are identical. Cf. Reinisch, Somali- 
Sprache, pp. 110, 111, etc. ; Bd. I of his SUdarabische Expedition. Wien, 
1900. 

3 See Smith's Meligion of the Semites, 2d ed., pp. 234, 241, and 307. 

* Herodotus, I, 199, and Lucian's Be Syria Dea, § 6. Cf. Hebraica, 
Vol. X, pp. 21 and 31. 

' Cf. Ephraem, Opera, Vol. II, pp. 458, 459 ; Augustine, De Civitate 
Dei, II, 4 ; also Hebraica, Vol. X, pp. 51 and 59. 

^ Cf. Gen. 34, and also Ex. 4^6, where circumcision is connected with 
the idea of " bridegroom." 



SEMITIC RELIGIOUS ORIGINS 101 

Smith suggests,^ have been a later development. Circum- 
cision thus receives for the Semitic peoples a fitting 
explanation, and an explanation not out of harmony with 
that usually given it by modern scholars for other peoples. 

Circumcision was also practised by the Egyptians at a 
very early date,^ and Herodotus was so impressed by their 
practice of it that he claims that others learned it from 
them. 2 According to Strabo they, like the modern 
Meccans, circumcised both men and women.* The Gallas, 
another Hamitic tribe, also practise it.^ The connection 
of this Hamitic practice with the Semitic will be consid- 
ered with some other similar matters at a future point in 
the discussion. 

In a system of religious thought, in which the sexual 
functions of the animal world found a counterpart and an 
apotheosis in the processes of the sacred tree, and in which 
free love was at certain times a religious duty, what more 
natural than that the organs of reproduction should be 
placed under the care of the tutelary divinity by such a 
sacrifice ? Indeed, the Arabs to-day, who are much with 
flocks and herds, declare that only in man is an impediment 
like the foreskin found, and wonder how it is possible for 
reproduction to occur among uncircumcised Christians.* 
Possibly their remote Semitic ancestors reasoned in the 
same way, and so conceived the necessity of making this 
sacrifice to the goddess of productivity, that they as well 
as other creatures might receive the blessing of fertility. 

Trumbull has collected a convincing array of instances 
of the sacred character of the threshold among the Baby- 
lonians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs,^ which prove 

1 Cf. Bel. of Sem., 2 ed., p. 328; "Wellhausen, Seidentum, 2 ed., 
p. 175. 

' Ebers, Aegypten und die Bucher Moses, Vol. I, p. 283. 

8 Bk. 11, 104. 

4 Strabo, Bk. XVII, 25. 

-" Maoalister in Hastings's Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. I, p. 444. 

« Doughty's Arabia Deserta, Vol. I, pp. 341 and 410. 

' The Threshold Covenant, Philadelphia, 1896, pp. 108-164. 



102 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



that the threshold among the Semites, as among people in 
many parts of the world, had the sanctity of an altar. 
The explanation which Trumbull offers for the sacredness 
of the threshold throughout the world is that primitive 
men everywhere make, by some common psychological 
process, a connection between the relation between the 
threshold and doorpost on the one hand, and the relation 
of the sexes on the other. ^ The result of our investigation 
into Semitic religious origins confirms this conclusion in so 
far as it applies to the Semites. A people who, like them, 
attributed to the sexual relation the beginnings of intelli- 
gent life, the knowledge of clothing, agriculture, and the 
arts of civilization, and who, in their conceptions of 
divinity, in their religious rites, and in their social organ- 
ization, gave such prominence to sexual relations and 
functions, would most naturally invest the threshold, the 
approach to the tent or house where the fruits of these 
divinely ordained functions were sheltered, with something 
of the sanctity of the function itself. This would be 
especially easy for early man as soon as any structure 
beyond a mere tent formed his dwelling. The old Semitic 
door sockets and posts would by their very form readily 
suggest the organs of fertility. No doubt the nosb or 
masseha, which bore a general resemblance to a phallus, 
afterward became the symbol of Semitic deity for a similar 
reason. 

With the view of the nature of Ishtar here set forth, 
the meaning of her name, I believe, coincides. It is true 
that so many varying etymologies of the name have been 
offered that it is precarious to build much on an argument 
derived from this source, and yet the confirmation afforded 
to the views expressed above by what I believe to be the 
true etymology renders it worthy of a little discussion. 

Driver 2 still refers the name, as Schrader^ and Sayce* 

1 Op. cit., pp. 193-203. 

2 " Ashtoreth " in Hastings's Dictionary of the Bible. 

3 KAT.% p. 179. i Hihbert Lectures for 1887, p. 252 ff. 



SEMITIC RELIGIOUS ORIGINS 103 

did a decade or two ago, to a non-Semitic origin. Delitzsch, 
wlio held this view in 1883 and 1886, had abandoned it as 
long ago as 1889.^ That so admirable a scholar as Driver 
can still hold this view is no doubt due to the fact that 
the historical and religious bearings of the problem have 
not sufficiently claimed his attention. It can hardly be 
regarded as probable that a divinity so primitive as Ishtar 
and whose cult was so widely diffused as to be wor- 
shipped in every Semitic territory, should be known in 
them all by a name borrowed from a foreign source by 
one of the Semitic nations after the Semitic dispersion 
had begun. Such an improbable view ought not to be 
maintained if a Semitic etymology which is even plausible 
can be suggested. That this borrowing did not occur is 
indicated by the presence of the letter 'ayin at the begin- 
ning of the name in all the Semitic languages except the 
Babylonian- Assyrian. From this latter tongue the 'ayin 
had disappeared, and it is hardly conceivable that the 
'ayin would be present in all the other languages if the 
name had come to them from a Babylonian source. 

Most scholars regard the name as of Semitic origin and 
have offered for it various etymologies. ^ The etymology 
proposed in my " Ishtar Cult " derived the name from the 

1 Cf. his Hebrew Language viewed in the Light of Assyrian Sesearch, 
p. 11, and Prolegomena eines neues Hebraisch-Aramaisches Worterbuch, 
p. 138, with his Assyrian Grammar, p. 181. 

" See, e.g., Haupt, ZDMG., Vol. XXXIV, p. 758, and Moore's " Ashto- 
reth " in the Encyc. Bib. in addition to references below. The following 
proposed etymologies are worthy of mention: 1. Haupt holds that it is a 
feminine form of the stem of the name of the Assyrian god Ashur (As- 
shur), Ishtar being written for Itshar (quoted by Tiele, Actes d. 6me 
Gong. Inter, d. Orient., Pt. II, p. 497, n., and reiterated by Haupt, Amer. 
Jour, of Philology, Vol. VIII, p. 278, n., also his Assyrian E Vowel, 1887, 
p. 16, n.). If the name of the god Ashur be derived, as is supposed below 
(Chapter V), from the 'ashera or post which marked the limits of the 
primitive sanctuary, this view would be plausible, were it not for the con- 
fusion which it assumes from 'aleph to 'ayin. That confusion, however 
natural in Assyrian and Babylonian, can hardly have occurred in primi- 
tive Semitic. 2. Jensen (Zeit. f. Keilschr. For., Vol. I, p. 306), and Zim- 
mem (JBabylonische Busspsalmen, p. 39), hold that the t is inserted after 



104 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



root 'athara, " to fall," ^ and took the name to be a reflex- 
ive with both a transitive and an intransitive meaning; 
the former of which meant to "cast forth" or "cause to 
fall," applying to the mother ; the latter, " that which is 
cast forth," or offspring, being applied in Deut. 7''' 28*' ^ 
to lambs. To this derivation Driver objects^ — and the 
objection is a forcible one — that the root 'athara means 
not simply " to fall," but " to stumble," " to trip," which, 
he urges, makes the etymology unsatisfactory. This ob- 
jection applies, as I now think, not to the etymology itself, 
but to the particular meaning which I attached to it. 
Lagarde had pointed the way to the true solution in a 
short article published as long ago as 1881,^ but when the 
"Ishtar Cult" was written his article escaped my atten- 
tion. He connected the name, as I did, with the root 
'athara, but called attention also to some important varia- 
tions in the meaning of the root which Lane had exhibited 
in his lexicon,* and which the connection of the goddess 
with the palm tree now enables us to appreciate. While 
in Arabic literature the stem ordinarily has the meaning 
" fall " or " stumble," 'dthUr means " a channel that is dug 
for the purpose of irrigating a palm tree such as is termed 
bdal " ; 'athr, " such as is watered by rain alone " ; and 
'athir, "dust," "earth," or "mud." 

The idea that Ba'al was the lord of self-irrigated land 
has been shown by Robertson Smith to belong to Syria.^ 

the second radical and that the name is to be derived from the root hashar 
= 'ashar, " to unite." This etymology is far less objectionable and much 
might be said in its favor. Another one vrill, however, be found to fit the 
conditions more perfectly. 3. Georg Hoffmann derives it ( Ueber einige 
phon. Inschriften, Gottingen, 1889, p. 22, n.), by a like method of forma- 
tion from the root 'ashar, Aramaic 'athar, " to be voluptuous," a deriva^ 
tion too abstract in its meaning to be primitive. 

1 Hebraica, Vol. X, pp. 69-71. 

^ Hastings's Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. I, p. 169, n. 

s"Astarte" in Nachrichten v. d. Konigl. Oesellschaft der Wissen- 
schaften zu Gott., 1881, pp. 396-400. 

* Arabic Lexicon, p. 1953. 

^Beligion of the Semites, 2d ed., pp. 97 ff. and 109 ff. Smith held 



SEMITIC RELIGIOUS ORIGINS 105 

He also held that the term ha'al land was afterward bor- 
rowed by the Arabs. The term ba'al for an irrigated 
palm tree would in any case be late, and must have sup- 
planted an earlier term. That earlier term was, I think, 
connected with the root 'athara. This is borne out by 
the statement which Robertson Smith cites from Bokhari 
(Bulac vocalized edition) which makes 'aihari synony- 
mous with "what is watered by the sky and by foun- 
tains."^ Smith thought that this term was derived from 
the name of the god Athtar, but from our preceding dis- 
cussion it seems more probable that the derivation was 
the other way, or that both came simultaneously from a 
common root. It is probable, therefore, that in primitive 
Semitic 'athara was connected with naturally watered 
land, and that 'athtar meant, in its transitive sense, " she 
who waters," or " she who makes fruitful," while in the 
intransitive sense it might apply to that which was 
"watered," "fertilized," or "produced," and so could 
come in course of time to mean "offspring," and as in 
Deut. 7", etc., " lambs." ^ This view suits the agricul- 
tural and social conditions which the foregoing pages 
have shown to have been prevalent in Arabia. The Be- 
dawi, coming in from the arid desert to a green and fruit- 
that agriculture, even to the cultivation of the date-palm, was borrowed 
by the Sabsans from Syria. Since the latter has been proven above to 
be incorrect, it may well be that the term bdal originated in Sabsea or 
Arabia. It could not even then, however, be as old as 'dthur. See 
below. Chapter IV. 

1 Smith, Ibid. p. 99, n 2. 

2 On this view of the etymology the meaning of the Arabic 'athara, 
Heb. 'ashar, and Aram, 'athar are all explained. 'Athur means accord- 
ing to Lane " a pit dug for a lion or other animal that he may fall into it 
in order that he may be taken." As noted in the text another form of 
the word signifies "irrigating ditch for a palm tree." The idea of falling 
may have become connected with the root from the catching of wild ani- 
mals in deep irrigating ditches. In time this meaning supplanted the 
original one. The idea of stumbling would naturally connect itself with 
the root from the idea of falling into such ditches. From the idea of irri- 
gation would come the idea of fertility, whence the Hebrew, Aram., and 
Syr. meanings " to be rich," " voluptuous," etc., would easily follow. 



106 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



ful oasis, would naturally say, " the self -irrigating or fruit- 
producing goddess has her abode here." That oasis thus 
became to him a garden of his god, its water and trees visi- 
ble representatives of his deities. The society in which he 
lived was one of great sexual freedom in which the mother 
was the head of the family ; he therefore naturally thought 
of his gods as a mother and son. The trees in the oasis 
were palm trees; the sex relations of the trees and of 
human beings were all combined in his mind in the way 
already described, so that the " self-waterer " was for him 
the "fruit-producer," "the creator of life," "the mother 
goddess," the goddess of love. Such was the religion of 
the Semites in their primitive home while they were yet 
one people. 

Robertson Smith's picture of their sanctuaries, their 
gods, their totemistic clan organization, their sacrifices, 
and their animistic conception of spirits, abides; we only 
see more clearly that the chief deity of the clan was at 
this primitive time a goddess, and that in so far as a male 
deity played any considerable part he was her son and 
reflex.^ 

No doubt it will be distasteful to many to believe that 

II have pointed out elsewhere (article " Asherah" in Jewish Encyclo- 
pedia'), that in all probability the limits of the primitive Semitic sanctu- 
ary vfere marked, even before the Semitic dispersion, by wooden posts 
called " asherahs " or " athrahs," and that in course of time the name of 
the post was in certain localities, as in South Arabia and the Lebanon re- 
gion of Syria, applied to the goddess herself. The evidence for this state- 
ment is that asherah means "sanctuary" in the Phoenician inscription 
from Ma'sub, and its philological equivalent ashirlu, ashrdti or eshritu, 
eshr&ti is commonly used in Assyrian- for sanctuary, while a goddess Ath- 
erat has been found in a Minjean inscription (Hommel in Expository 
Times, Jan., 1900, p. 190), and a goddess Ashirta in the region of Leba- 
non (Sayce, ZA., Vol. VI, p. 161, Epping and Strassmaier, ZA., Vol. VI, 
p. 241 ; Winokler in Schrader's KB., Vol. V, p. 124, and passim ; Reisner 
in Mittheilungen of the Berlin Museum, p. 92, and Jensen, ZA., Vol. XI, 
p. 302H.). Cf. also below. Chapter VI. Hommel (op. c)«.) fancies that he 
sees in the original form of the ideogram for Ishtar a post on which hangs 
the skin of an animal (cf. Thureau Dangin's VEcriture cuneiforme, No. 
294, and Smith's Religion of the Semites, 2d ed., p. 435 fl. 



SEMITIC RELIGIOUS ORIGINS 107 

the beginnings of Semitic religion as they were conceived 
by the Semites themselves go back to sexual relations. It 
must be remembered that such things were thought of 
and treated much more innocently in primitive times than 
would be indicated by a similar treatment now. In reality, 
too, the Semite actually hit upon a feature of human life 
which is, as scientific investigation is showing us, inti- 
mately connected with religious feeling at the present 
dayi and has had more real influence in developing 
moral, altruistic, and humanitarian feeling in the past than 
any other. The prolongation of the period of helplessness 
in infancy and the consequent development of maternal 
love out of which feelings of obligation and conscience 
have grown is now seen to lie at the root of the moral and 
religious progress of the race.^ The primitive Semite's 
conception of his goddess and her service, to which he 
attributed the beginnings of intelligence and civilization, 
was in a rude, blind way an emphasis of the same truth. 
Considering the animal passions of human nature, it is 
little wonder that the processes of procreation often at- 
tracted more attention than the offspring itself ; but the 
delight which all Semites took, and still take, in their 
children, is witness to the fact that such religion was 
never wholly degenerate. Semitic sacrifice, commensal as 
Robertson Smith has shown it to be,^ embodies in a gross 
way the principle of the religious life which is expressed 
in the highest spiritual form in John 17^ : " I in them 
and thou in me that they may be perfected into one ; " so 
the Semitic conception of deity as we have traced it em- 
bodies the truth — grossly indeed, but nevertheless em- 
bodies it — that " God is love." 

This religion, containing a kernel of perpetual truth, 

1 See Leuba in Journal of Psychology, 1896 ; Starbuck's Psychology 
of Peligion, New York, 1900, Part I, on conversion ; and Coe's Spiritual 
Life, New York, 1900. 

2 See Drummond's Ascent of Man, New York, 1895, chs. vii and viii, 
and Fiske's Through Nature to God, Boston, 1899, pp. 96-130. 

' Beligion of the Semites, Lectures VII to XI. 



108 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



although it was formulated thus crudely, formed the sub- 
stratum of the religion of the Semites in historical times. 
It was modified here and there by economic changes and 
the consequent change in social conditions which followed. 
At other times foreign influences combined with these to 
effect a transformation. In Israel its baser elements were 
eliminated by the prophets, who erected on its foundation 
a structure of spiritual religion.^ Traces of these primi- 
tive conceptions appear throughout the Semitic world as 
witnesses to the perpetual influence of these fundamental 
conceptions of religion and life ; and owing to its influ- 
ence through the Phoenicians upon the Greeks and through 
Greek society upon the early Christians, and also its in- 
fluence on the Hebrews and through them upon the 
church, its effects in many ways abide to the present hour.^ 
In all Semitic life, religious and social, the hag or re- 
ligious festival has always played an important part. 
Among the ancient Hebrews there were three such festi- 
vals which all readers of the Bible will readily recall, — the 
Passover, near the vernal equinox, the feast of Weeks at 
the end of the harvest, seven weeks after the Passover, 
and the feast of Ingathering or Tabernacles at the time of 
the grape harvest in the seventh month. Of these, recent 
Biblical scholars regard the first only as primitive, and 
hold that the others were agricultural festivals adopted by 
the Israelites after the settlement in Canaan. ^ There is 
much evidence, however, to show that two of these three 
festivals have their roots in primitive Semitic practices, and 
that what the settlement in Canaan did for them was not 
to originate them, but to give them a new interpretation. 

1 See below, Chapter VII. 

2 See below, Chapter VIII. 

' Wellhausen, Prolegomena zur Geschichte Israels, 5th ed., 1899, 
p. 91 ; Reste arabische HeidenUtms, 2d ed., p. 98 ; W. Robertson Smith, 
Prophets of Israel, 2d ed., pp. 38, 56, and 384, also Old Testament in the 
Jewish Church, 2d ed., pp. 240, 269; Harding in Hastings's Dictionary 
of the Bible, Vol. I, p. 860 ; and Budde, Religion of Israel to the Exile, 
p. 73. 



SEMITIC RELIGIOUS ORIGINS 109 

All scholars agree that the paschal portion of the Pass- 
over festival, as distinguished from the unleavened bread 
features of it, existed in the nomadic life of pre-Canaan- 
itish days. This sacrifice of a sheep occurred in the 
month Nisan, i.e. in the spring, or at the beginning of 
the Oriental summer. Similarly in Cyprus, as we learn 
from Johannes Lydus,^ a sacrifice of a sheep was made 
to Ashtart. This occurred also in the spring, on the 2d of 
April. In Babylonia there was also a New Year's festival, 
which was held in Nisan, which, at different times and in 
different places, was associated with different gods. When 
we can first trace it in the days of Gudea, it is the festival 
of Bau,^ one of the mother goddesses, into which the 
primitive Semitic mother goddess had developed in the 
peculiar Babylonian conditions.^ Later, in consequence 
of the forces which wrought the transformations described 
below,* it appears as a feast of Marduk of Babylon.^ In 
the earlier time when we can trace it as a festival of the 
goddess, the offerings were lambs, sheep, cattle, etc. 
Wellhausen, Robertson Smith, and Winckler have shown 
that in Arabia the festival in the month Ragab originally 
corresponded both in time and in character to these spring 
festivals among the other Semites.® Two characteristics 
are common to all these festivals, — they occurred in the 
springtime, and they involved the sacrifice of lambs. In 
Arabia the domestic animals bring forth once a year, and 
the yeaning time is in the spring.'^ In Ex. 34, the Yah- 

1 Cf. his De Mensibus, Bk. IV, 45, and Hebraica, Vol. X, p. 45. 

2 See KB., Vol. IIIi, pp. 59, 61, 69, and 71 ; also Jastrow's Beligion 
of Babylonia and Assyria, pp. 59 and 677 ff. 

' See below, Chapter V. 

* Chapter V. 

^ KB., Vol. IIP, p. 15, and Jastrow, ibid., p. 677. 

8 Wellhausen, Beste arabische Heidentums, 2d ed., p. 97 fl.; Robert- 
son Smith, Religion of the Semites, 2d ed., p. 227 ff.; and Winckler, 
Altorientalische Forschungen, 2te Reihe, Vol. II, pp. 324-350, especially 
p. 344. On the character of the offerings at the Regab feast, cf. Smith, 
ibid., n. 

' Doughty's Arabia Deserta, Vol. I, p. 429. 



110 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



wistic Decalogue, the earliest of existing Hebrew law- 
books, this spring festival is connected with the gift of 
firstlings to Yahwe (vv. 18-20). There can be little 
doubt, in view of these facts, that originally the nomadic 
Semites kept a spring festival to the mother goddess of 
fertility. The lambs, kids, and young camels were her 
gifts, and to her it was right that a joyous feast should be 
held in honor of her gracious blessings. 

The circumcision festivals which were witnessed bj 
Doughty occurred at the same time of the year.^ Those 
feasts are still accompanied, as we noted above, by the 
sacrifice of a sheep, the dancing of girls, and the selection 
of wives. We cannot, therefore, be far wrong in regard- 
ing them as a survival of this old spring festival. As 
already pointed out, Ephraem and Augustine described 
the festival of the Semitic mother goddess, as it was 
known to them, as lewd.^ Originally, therefore, the 
spring festival was accompanied by the sacrifice of maiden 
virtue, — a sacrifice out of which grew the custom de- 
scribed by Herodotus,^ as well as the sacrifice of the fore- 
skin of youths. Probably acts of free love on the part 
of all were also a part of the primitive ritual.* 

The spring festival in this far-off primeval time was 
then an occasion when the mother goddess was honored 
by sacrifices to her of some of all her many gifts of ani- 
mal fertility in the ways which were thought to be pleas- 
ing to her. The time was appropriate, since she was 
revealing in the spring her power through the offspring 
of the flocks and herds, through the flowering date-palms 
where her acts of fertilization were taking place, and 
through the nature which she had given men. 

So the infant was consecrated to her service by circum- 

1 Doughty's, Arabia Deserta, Vol. I, pp. 340-342. 

2 Ephraem, Opera, Vol. II, p. 458 ff., and Augustine, De CivUate Dei, 
Bk. II, 4. Cf. Hebraica, Vol. X, pp. 61 and 59. 

8 Bk. I, 199. Cf. Hebraica, Vol. X, p. 20. 

* Such, as I take it, was the original meaning of the dance described 
Toy Doughty, ibid., p. 341. 



SEMITIC RELIGIOUS ORIGINS 111 

cision, the maiden by the sacrifice of her chastity, and all 
by acts of free love. At the same time the bonds of tribal 
kinship were more closely knit by the commensal meal, 
which was no doubt accompanied by boisterous manifesta- 
tions of joy, and by songs, which would be extremely 
coarse when judged by the more refined standards of later 
ages. 

Wellhausen has made it tolerably clear that in the pre- 
Islamic days the Arabs divided the year roughly into 
halves,^ and that the second half which originally began 
in the autumn was inaugurated by the Safar festival as 
the other half was by the Ragab festival. This feast he 
coordinates with the Hebrew feast of Tabernacles, which 
came in the month Tishri and which represented to the 
Palestinian Hebrews the conclusion of the grape gather- 
ing. No trace of this feast is found in Babjdonia, though 
Jastrow conjectures ^ with some probability that at some 
time a sacred New Year's feast occurred in the autumn 
in some part of Babylonia, since the Jews, who derived 
their method of reckoning time from thence, begin their 
New Year with Tishri. The character of this feast among 
the primitive Semites it is not hard to guess. The har- 
vest of the date-palm comes at just this time,^ when the 
Arabs give themselves to gladness and hospitality,* and 
the nomads visit the oases to lay in a supply of dates for 
the winter.^ We cannot doubt but that in ancient times 
such an occasion was made a festival to the goddess of 
the palm tree or that it was characterized by orgies such 

^ Beste arabische Heidentums, 2d ed., p. 96 ff. Cf. Winckler, Alt- 
orientalische Forschungen, 2te Reihe, "Vol. II, p. 344, who makes the 
same division as V^^ellhausen, but makes it begin with Muharran, the 
month before Safar. 

2 Beligion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 681. Cf. Muss-Amolt in 
JBL., Vol. XI, p. 160 ff. 

s See Doughty's Arabia Deserta, Vol. I, pp. 557 and 561 ; also Zwemer's 
Arabia, p. 125. 

* Wellsted's Travels in Arabia, Vol. II, p. 122. 

^ Doughty, ibid., as n. 3. 



112 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



as would befit the rejoicings of a people possessing such 
a social organization and pervaded by such religious ideas. 
In the earliest times the oases were himas^ or tracts sacred 
to the gods ; the gathering of the dates took place there- 
fore in a sacred tract as well as from a sacred tree and 
would accordingly be naturally regarded as a religious 
act. This autumn festival still survives in Abyssinia. It 
has been Christianized and is called Mascal, or the Cross. 
It is celebrated in September, and a part of its ritual 
includes the lighting of fires on high places before dawn, 
when oxen are slaughtered as in a heathen festival. It is 
celebrated, too, with dancing, drumming and playing the 
sistra during the whole night. '^ Considerable elements of 
heathenish rites have entered into all the phases of the 
ritual of the Abyssinian church, but it is not difficult to 
detect the source whence this feast has come. 

Of a third festival we cannot be so confident. If it 
existed in primitive times, it must have been connected 
with the god Tammuz. Traces of a festival of .the god 
Tammuz, preceded by wailing for him, are found in Baby- 
lonia, Palestine, and PhcEnicia. It appears from the poem 
known as " Ishtar's Descent," that there was in Babylonia 
a " day of Tammuz." ^ It is usually held, since the fourth 
of the Babylonian months bore the name of this god, that 
it was then that his festival was celebrated, and Jastrow 
on this basis holds that it was a solar festival, celebrated 
in the fourth month at the approach of the summer sol- 
stice.* He, like many others, connects this feast, which 
was preceded by wailing for the death of the god and 
celebrated by rejoicings at his resurrection,* as significant 

1 Smith's Religion of the Semites, 2d ed., pp. 112, 142-144, and 156- 
157 ; Wellhausen, Heidentums, 2d ed., p. 105 ff. 

2 See Bent's Sacred City of the Ethiopians, pp. 53, 83, 84. 

3 Cf. IV R., p. 31, rev. 1. 56 ; Hebraica, Vol. IX, p. 151 ; and Jeremiaa's 
Zeben nach dem Tode, p. 23. 

* Beligion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 682. 

' Cf . Luoian, De Syria Dea, § 6 ; Hebraica, Vol. X, p. 31 ; and 
Pietschmann's Oeschichte der Phoenizier, p. 219. 



SEMITIC RELIGIOUS ORIGINS 113 

of the annual death of vegetation, which on Jastrow's 
interpretation would be due to the burning heat of the 
summer sun. It appears, however, that in Phoenicia and 
Palestine the festival was celebrated not in the fourth but 
in the sixth month. Ezekiel (ch. 8^) dates it according 
to the Massoretic text at that time, though the LXX 
place it in the fifth month. Many modern scholars follow 
the LXX, but, as it seems to me, without sufficient reason.^ 
The cuneiform non-Semitic expression for the sixth month 
was "the month of the message of Ishtar," as though it 
was then that she descended to the lower world.^ The 
name of the sixth month, Elul, has been explained from 
the wailing for Tammuz,^ and altogether it seems prob- 
able that the wailing originally occurred in the sixth 
month, and was followed by the festival of date harvest 
at the beginning of the seventh, of which we have already 
spoken. If this be the case, the sacrifice of chastity of 
which Lucian speaks in connection with these rites at 
Biblos was a survival from the rites of joy with which 
the date harvest was celebrated in primitive Semitic 
times. That the feast of Tammuz should in some form 
go back to primitive Semitic conditions is indicated by 
the myth which makes Tammuz the son of Ishtar and 
which, as we have noted, could only have been formed in 
a society organized on the lines of the so-called matri- 
archal clan. Winckler's conclusions as to the old Arabic 
calendar include the opinion that there was in Arabia a 
similar summer festival in July-August.^ The special 
characteristics of this festival are not clearly known. It 
seems likely, however, that it was a survival from the old 
wailing for the death of vegetation which preceded the 
glad festival of the date harvest. Primarily, then, this 
feast was a sort of lent preceding the glad time of the 

1 Cf. Toy's Ezeldel, in Haupt's SBOT. 

» Cf. Muss-Arnolt in JBL., Vol. XI, pp. 88, 89 ; and Brunnow's Classi- 
fied, List of Cuneiform Idiographs, No. 10759. 

3 AUorientalische Forschungen, 2te Reihe, "Vol. II, pp. 336-344. 



114 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



autumn festival, when the tree of Tammuz and Ishtar 
yielded its fruit. 

Following Robertson Sniith,i I expressed in the "Ishtar 
Cult" the opinion that the wailing for Tammuz was ori- 
ginally the wailing for a sacrificial victim.^ I still incline 
to think that this view is right, although, as then, I 
think that at a very early period it may have received a 
new explanation which connected it with the death of 
vegetation. In the deserts of Arabia when the burning 
summer sun dries up the pastures and in consequence 
the milk of the domestic animals largely fails, while the 
summer heat renders life almost unendurable,^ it may 
well have seemed to the nomads that Tammuz was dead. 
Thus the wailing, which originally accompanied the death 
of the victim at the festival, was, I think, extended to 
cover a portion of time preceding harvest. This produced 
a period of gloom to be turned to life when harvest came 
with its evidences of the god's returning life. 

Robertson Smith has with great plausibility connected 
the fasting and humiliation of the Jewish Day of Atone- 
ment with this Tammuz wailing.* Such connection is 
from every point of view exceedingly probable. The Day 
of Atonement came at the beginning of autumn, a fact 
which confirms our view that it originally occurred in 
connection with the autumn feast.^ 

If this view be correct, it is not difficult to understand 
how the Tammuz wailing and ritual may have been trans- 
ferred in Babylonia to the fourth month. The first har- 
vest of wheat and barley is in that country reaped at the 
time of the summer solstice, and at such a time a festival 

' Beligion of the Semites, 1st ed., p. 392, n. 

2 Hebraica, Vol. X, p. 74. 

8 Doughty's Arabia Deserta, Vol. I, chs. xvii and xviii, esp. p. 472 ff. 

* Seligion of the Semites, Leot. XI, esp. p. 411. 

5 Fraser, Golden Bough, ch. iii, connects the death of Tammuz with 
the corn (wheat) harvest, — the slaying of the divine grain. This cannot 
have been primitive, on account of the economic conditions of Arabia, 
though possibly it was a later agricultural explanation. 



SEMITIC RELIGIOUS ORIGINS 115 

among an agricultural people is a most natural occurrence. 
If in order to meet this need the Tammuz festival were 
put forward a few weeks, the influence of Babylonia on 
Palestine in the El-Amarna period would lead (if local 
influences had not already done so) to the establishment 
of a festival at the end of harvest there. This afterwards 
the Hebrews adopted as the feast of weeks. Meantime 
the direct influence of Arabia seems to have been sufficient 
in Phoenicia and Palestine to keep the original Tammuz 
festival at its own period in the autumn separate from the 
festival at the end of barley harvest. Something like this 
may have been the course of development in Babylonia. 
The fact that the fourth month bore the name of Tammuz 
is a somewhat slight basis for such conjecture, since the 
month may have been given the name for other reasons. 

We conclude, however, that but two Semitic festivals 
were primitive, the festival of the yeaning time in the 
spring and the festival of the date harvest in the autumn. 
Out of these the other festivals of the Semitic world have 
been developed, except as some of them have been bor- 
rowed from the peoples of the lands in which they settled. 

If now we turn to the Hamites, from whom originally 
the Semites separated themselves, we find some indications 
that their primitive institutions were similar to those of the 
primitive Semites, if not identical with them. Circum- 
cision was, as we have already noticed,^ practised by the 
Egyptians and the Hamitic Gallas, and Nowack^ and Ben- 
zinger ^ still hold with Herodotus that the Semitic rite was 
borrowed from Egypt. Down to the time of the Csesars 
women and girls were licensed to a life of immorality by 
consecration to the service of Amon at Thebes. These 
women were held in such high esteem that this public 
course of life did not prevent them from making good 
marriages when age compelled them to withdraw from 
this service.* Maspero interprets this rightly as a relic of 

1 See above, p. 101. ' Archceolorjie, p. 154. 

2 Archceologie, Vol. I, p. 167. * Strabo, Bk. XVII, 46. 



116 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



polyandry. 1 In its later stages this polyandry was endog- 
amous, like the later polyandry of the Semites, since it 
permitted the marriage of brother and sister, and some- 
times of father and daughter. One of the legacies left to 
Egypt by this type of polyandry is the use of the words 
"brother" and "sister" in the sense of "lover" and "mis- 
tress."^ This stage of the civilization is further indicated 
by the fact that in the temples of the chief gods there 
were women devoted to purposes similar to those for which 
they were attached to the temple of Amon, while in the 
temples of the female divinities they held the chief 
places.^ 

Another reflection in the Egyptian religion of this state 
of society is found in the conception of the goddess Isis. 
The oldest myths concerning her represent her as an inde- 
pendent deity, dwelling in the midst of the ponds without 
husband or lover, who gave birth spontaneously to a son, 
whom she suckled among the reeds,* — a tale which can 
only be properly interpreted as the reflection of a society 
in which exogamous polyandry, of a type resembling the 
earliest Semitic polyandry, was practised. In later times 
she was said to be married to Osiris, a fact which one 
school of mythologists interpret as the marriage of Isis, 
the Dawn, to Osiris, the Sun,^ but which Maspero, with 
more probability, takes to mean the marriage of Isis, the 
Earth, to Osiris, the Nile.® There can be no doubt but 
that this latter myth is the later of the two, and is the 
reflection of a later social organization. 

We have then in the oldest Hamitic civilization traces 
of circumcision, of polyandry, of a mother goddess who 
represented well-watered land, as among the Semites. 

1 Masp^ro's Damn of Civilization, p. 50. 

2 Maspero, op. cit., p. 51. 

» Maspero, op. eit. , p. 126. 
' Maspero, op. cit., p. 131. 

5 So Robert Brown, Jr., Semitic Influence in Hellenic Mythology, p. 63. 
Brown is a disciple of Max Mttller in the interpretation of mythology. 
« Masp6ro, op. cit., p. 132. 



SEMITIC RELIGIOUS ORIGINS 117 

The date-palm was also known, and there is at least one 
trace of it as a god.^ 

Among the Hamites who lived to the west of Egypt 
similar customs appear. Thus Herodotus tells us^ that 
the Nasamones, a tribe of Berber Hamites,^ made yearly- 
expeditions to a date-palm oasis to gather the fruit, and 
their polyandry and sexual customs in general resembled 
closely much which we find among the Semites. 

With reference to these institutions which the ancient 
Semites and Hamites had in common, there are three 
possible opinions : (1) they may have developed them 
in the early days before the two peoples separated, when 
as yet the races were one ; (2) they may have developed 
them independently through the influence of similar en- 
vironments ; or (3) one race may have borrowed from the 
other at a comparatively late period. 

The last of these possibilities must be rejected at once. 
We have shown above how all these institutions of prim- 
itive Semitic life, including even circumcision, grew nat- 
urally out of the desert and oasis life such as they were 
subjected to in Arabia. It is purely arbitrary, therefore, 
to assume without positive proof that any one of these 
institutions was a late intruder into Semitic practice. The 
theory of Herodotus with reference to circumcision must 
therefore be abandoned. On the other hand, few will be 
found to maintain that it or any of the other institutions 
under discussion were borrowed by the Egyptians from 
the Semites. A people which reached such a high state 
of culture at such an early epoch is not likely to have 
borrowed a religious and social practice from so rude a 
people as the Semitic Arabs at a time when the two must 
have been separated by sea and desert. 

Of the other two possibilities, the first is, under the 
circumstances, by far the most probable. While, of course, 

1 Masp^ro, iUd., pp. 27 and 121, n. 1. 

2 Book IV, 172. 

» Sergi, Mediterranean Race, p. 47. 



118 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



two peoples of kindred race may in similar environments 
have developed similar institutions independently of one 
another, it must be remembered that the environment of 
the Egyptians, from the time of their settlement in Egypt, 
was not similar to that of the Semites, or of a character to 
produce institutions similar to theirs. Egypt is not a land 
of oases, but a river-land similar to Mesopotamia. It was 
an agricultural country, rich and productive. As we shaU 
show below, the civilization produced in such a land was 
not polyandrous, and differed consequently, as to all the 
features which grow out of polyandry, from that which 
the desert-oasis life produced. North Africa, outside of 
Egypt, was for the most part a barren country, with occa- 
sional oases, in its general features not unlike Arabia.^ It 
is altogether probable that, as these regions filled up, con- 
ditions were produced by the crowded populations similar 
to those which we have proven for Arabia,^ and that 
in consequence a similar culture of the date-palm,^ a 
similar organization of the clan, a similar worship for the 
feminine productive principle, and in general, similar in- 
stitutions were in some portions produced, though the 
fertile valleys in some portions of North Africa probably 

1 Por a description of North Africa and its oases, see The International 
Geography, ed. by Hugh Robert Mill, London, 1899 ; for Morocco, p. 905 ; 
for Algeria, p. 907 ; for Tunesia, pp. 913, 914 ; for Tripoli, p. 916 ff. 

2 Above, p. 73 ft. 

3 My friend, Professor W. Max Miiller, tells me that the whole Paradise 
story of Genesis, which, as we have seen, reflects primitive Semitic ideas, 
has a parallel in the hieroglyphic Egyptian. This indicates that what we . 
have proven for the primitive Semitic conceptions of religion which grew 
out of oasis life, could in like manner be proven for the Hamites. In 
other words, the institutions which we have proven in Arabia were born 
earlier in North Africa. Sayce (PSBA., Vol. XXII, p. 278) describes 
a vase taken from a predynastic tomb, on which a palm tree is pictured. 
It is, therefore, unnecessary to account for such phenomena in the Egyp- 
tian religion on the ground of Semitic influence from Arabia. It is in the 
highest degree doubtful whether such foreign influence, exercised apart 
from conquest or settlement, produced such results anywhere in the 
ancient world. Semitic words in later Egyptian inscriptions are no argu- 
ment against this view. 



SEMITIC RELIGIOUS ORIGINS 119 

prevented the production of these institutions on so wide 
and so uniform a scale as in Arabia. 

Now such crowding of the country must have occurred 
before the Semitic migration, and must have been its cause. 
Some such force must have impelled the first immigrants 
to enter the unattractive Arabian peninsula. We have, 
then, in the primitive Hamito-Semitic home the elements 
present for the birth of these institutions before the separa- 
tion of the two grand divisions of the race. We hold it 
probable, therefore, that the totemistic clan, the culture of 
the date-palm with its worship, the mother goddess as the 
typical divinity, and circumcision, had to some extent their 
beginnings at the time when the Hamites and Semites 
were living in that common home of their infancy, in 
which their kindred tongues were born, notwithstanding 
that the differences in those tongues bear witness to the 
fact that they separated in prehistoric time, thousands of 
years ago. 

If this be so, we find, by applying Hilderbrand's law 
referred to above,^ that, at the time of the separation of 
the Semites from the Hamites, the pastoral and semi- 
agricultural stage of life had been reached, with some rude 
cultivation of the date-palm. This conclusion removes 
the time of Hamito-Semitic savagery some thousands of 
years farther back into remote antiquity than it has usually 
been placed, but it is not on that account to be rejected. 
It must, it seems to me, be regarded as highly probable .^ 

The conclusions reached in this discussion inevitably 
lead to another, of no little importance to the correct un- 
derstanding of the Semitic religions. If we regard it as a 

1 pp. 72, 73. 

2 The writer makes no pretence to a knowledge of Egyptology. The 
facts quoted above are quoted on the authority of reputable Egyptologists. 
An interpretation has been given them in the text, such as is compatible 
with the results made probable by the interpretation of the Semitic 
material in the light of economic and social laws. It is to be hoped that 
some Egyptologist will take the matter up and do the same for the 
material of his science. 



120 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



law, that religious institutions are in some important 
respects patterned on those social and political institutions 
which economic environment makes possible, we should 
naturally expect the Semites, as they modified their en- 
vironment or moved to new ones and developed a system 
of male kinship, to make masculine instead of feminine 
deities the chief objects of their worship. 

The feminine deities thus displaced were the earliest 
principal deities which the Semites had, for even in their 
savage state, their monogamy was too temporary to permit 
of a system of male kinship. We regard it, therefore, as 
a general principle which may be safely applied, that those 
phases of Semitic religion which reflect a polyandrous 
state of society are more primitive than any of those 
which reflect a patriarchal. The latter are either of later 
birth, are borrowed from foreign peoples, or are formed 
from a mother goddess, by changing her gender but retain- 
ing many of her attributes. As society, in consequence 
of changed environment, was transformed from the matri- 
archal to the patriarchal form, such transformations of 
deities actually occurred, as will be shown in the next two 
chapters. Here and there the old mother goddess survived 
in something of her pristine independence, preserved by 
the forces of religious conservatism. Where transforma- 
tions into a masculine deity occurred she was often in part 
retained as the consort and companion of the male deity. 

Thus by classifying the deities on this principle and 
following out the lines of economical and social develop- 
ment, much light will be thrown upon the problems of 
Semitic religion, and gods which have been considered to 
be borrowed by one Semitic nation from another will 
frequently appear to be independent developments from 
a common mother goddess of the primitive time.^ 

1 It does not fall within the scope of this investigation to account for 
the origin of the idea of a god or of supernatural spirits among the primi- 
tive Semites. It is probable, however, that among them religion did not 
originate in ancestor worship. Cf. Frey's Tod Seelenglaiibe und Seelen- 



SEMITIC RELIGIOUS ORIGINS 121 

Tcult in alien Israel, and Gruneisen's Der Ahnencultus und die Urreligion 
Israels. For arguments on the other side, cf. Stade Geschichte, Vol. I, 
pp. 387-427 ; Schwally, Leben nach dem Tode, ch. I ; Charles, Escha- 
tology, p. 20 ff., and G. A. Smith, Preaching of the Old Testament, 
p. 184, n. 2. 



CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE 



South Semitic Chronology 
Minsean kingdom, cir. 1250-600 

B.C. 

Sataean kingdom, cir. 750-116 b.c. 
Kingdom of Saba and Eaidan, 115 

B.C. to cir. 350 a.d. (south Arabia 

and Abyssinia). 
Kingdom of Aksum, cir. 350 a.d. 

onward (Abyssinia). 
Mohammed born, 571 a.d. 
Mohammed began preaching, 610 

A.D. 

Mohammed left Mecca, 622 a.d. 
Mohammed's death, 632 a.d. 
Medina Caliphate, 632-661 a.d. 



West Semitic Cheonologt 

El-Amama Tablets, cir. 1400 b.c 
(Tyre, Sidon, Gebal, Jerusalem, 
Laoish, and Ashtoreth then flour- 
ished). 

Kingdom of Tyre, cir. 1300-332 b.c. 
(Hiram, king, cir. 1000; Eth- 
Baal, cir. 880 ; Baali, cir. 660). 

Israel invaded Canaan, cir. 1200 

B.C. 

Yakhwemelek, king of Gebal, cir. 
400 B.C. 

Eshmuuazer, Tabnith, and Esh- 
munazer II, kings of Sidon, cir. 
380-332 B.C. 

Greek rule of Phoenicia, 832 b.c 
onward. 

Phoenician kings of Citium and 
Idalion in Cyprus, 479-312 b.c 

Grseco-Egyptian kings rule in Cy- 
prus, 312 B.C. onward. 

Carthage founded, cir. 825 b.c 

Carthage subject to Rome, 201 b.c 



122 



CHAPTER IV 

TRANSPOKMATIONS AMONG THE S0T7THEEN AND 
WESTERN SEMITES 

We have traced above ^ the general lines of social devel- 
opment in Arabia and have noted how the vague polyandry 
of the Nair type and descent through the mother were, 
through economic causes, and possibly the influence of war 
and marriage by capture, transformed into haal marriage 
and descent through the father ; polyandry of the Thibetan 
type forming in certain localities an intermediate stage of 
social development. Robertson Smith is no doubt right 
in holding that this transformation did not take place 
before the Semitic dispersion. ^ Much evidence will be 
presented in Chapter VI in support of this view. The 
transformation had, however, taken place by the time of 
Mohammed, who provided that wives whom their husbands 
could not trust might be rebuked, secluded in lonely apart- 
ments, and even flogged by the husband.^ Of course, in 
parts of Arabia the older liberties of women may have 
been retained much longer than they were at Mecca and 
Medina, but the trend of social development, as the pas- 
sage quoted above* from Strabo indicates, had been for 
some time in the direction of the patriarchal family. It 
must have been well advanced in Mecca and Medina 
before the prophet could make such a law as that 
referred to. 

This transformation of the family and the exaltation of 
the father left its impress upon the Arabic conception of 

1 Chapter II. 2 Kinship, p. 179. s Qur'an, 43". 

* p. 64. See Strabo, Bk. XVI, p. 783. 
123 



124 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



divinity. In South Arabia, the old mother goddess, even 
while she retained her feminine name, became a mas- 
culine deity and a father god.^ He is frequently desig- 
nated as lord (ba'al) Athtar, and is at least once called 
"father." 2 

In Yemen, in the southvsrestern corner of Arabia, this 
impress can be most clearly traced. The country is of 
volcanic formation, consisting of extensive uplands, broken 
by mountain ranges and interspersed with valleys of sur- 
passing richness, where from time immemorial the land 
has been laid out in terraces, the water of the rainy season 
stored in cisterns for irrigation, and many natural rivulets 
course down the hills. ^ These valleys produce wheat, 
barley, maize, millet, and coffee, as well as palm trees, 
orange, lemon, quince, mango, plum, apricot, peach, apple, 
pomegranate, and fig trees. The vine also grows there 
luxuriantly.* This is the Arabia Felix of the ancients. 
Here a Semitic kingdom had been established, probably as 
early as 1250 years before the Christian era, and perhaps 
earlier. The claims of Glaser and Hommel that a Mingean 
kingdom preceded the Sabsean on this soil seem to me 
to be well made out. The Minaean sarcophagus of the 
Ptolemaic period, discovered some years since in Egypt,^ 
is no objection to this ; it only shows that the city of Ma'in 
kept its identity some time after it was dominated by the 
Sabaean power. Tradition has it that a queen of Sabsea 
visited Solomon,^ and Sargon, king of Assyria, counted 
It'amara (Jetha'-amara), king of Sabsea, among his tribute- 

1 Cf. Hebraica, Vol. X, pp. 52-59 and 202-205. 

^Mordtmann's ^imjanscfte Inschriften und Alterhumer-Mittheihingen 
kg!. Museen zu Berlin, Heft VII, No. 862. 

" Cf. Reolus, JTie Earth and its Inhabitants, New York, 1885, Vol. IV, 
p. 438 ff., and Zwemer, Arabia, the Cradle of Islam, chs. v and vi. 

* Zwemer, op. cit., p. 57. 

6 Cf. Golenlscheff, in the St. Petersburg Sapiski, 189.3, p. 219 ff. ; T). H. 
Miiller, in Wiener's Zeitschrift f. d. Kunde des Morganldndes,\?,M, p. 1 ff. ; 
Hommel, F8BA.,Yo\. XVI, 145 ff. ; Derenbourg, in Jour, asiatique, 1894 ; 
and Weber, Mitteilungen vorderasiat. Gesellsehaft, 1901, Heft I, p. 42. 

6 1 Kgs. 101 ff. 



TRANSFORMATIONS 125 



payers in the year 715 B.c.,^ but it seems probable that 
these references are to a North Arabian precursor of the 
Sabsean kingdom.* In the rich valleys of southwestern 
Arabia, agricultural communities must have been formed 
at a very early time. Semitic social life "would therefore 
be transformed here far sooner than in other parts of 
Arabia. Reclus declares ^ that in this mountainous region 
the very soil and climate render a nomadic life almost im- 
possible. There are vast uplands between the mountains 
and valleys where the Bedawi have settled into a pastoral 
life.* To this region the Semites from central Arabia 
came, here their social structure underwent in course of 
time, and in consequence of their new conditions, a trans- 
formation. Descent was reckoned through the father, and 
in time the old mother goddess was transformed into a 
god. He became, of course, a father, and is frequently 
called lord (ha'al) Athtar. 

Not only is this true, but we are able in one inscription 
to catch a glimpse of the deity in the very process of trans- 
formation. This interesting document was published some 
years since by the Derenbourgs,^ and is of sufficient im- 
portance to be reproduced here. It reads : — 

1. Yasbakh of Eiyam, son of Mauqis and Baus, and his wife Karibat 

of M. . . . 

2. of the tribe Sirwakh, a royal vassal, — they have consecrated to 

their lady 'Umm-Athtar for 

3. four sons four images of pure gold, because 'Umm-Athtar blessed 

4. them with the boys and three daughters and they lived — all these 

chil- 
6. dren — and they two themselves have acquired gain through these 

children. May 'Dmm- 
6. Athtar continue to bless his servants, Yasbakh and Karibat with 

well-formed children, and to favor them 

1 Cf . KB. , Vol. II, pp. 54, 85 ; and Glaser, Die Abessinier in Arabia 
und Afrika, p. 29. 

2 Cf. Weber, in Milteil. der vorderasiat. Gesell, 1901, I, 32. 
» Op. cit., p. 438. 

* Zwemer, op. cit., p. 68. 

6 Journal asiatique, 8 Ser., Vol. II, pp. 256-266. 



126 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



7. themselves, and to favor their children. May 'Umm-Athtar be 

gracious 

8. and grant complete safety to the sons of Yasbakh, Kharif Mag- 

da'al, Ra- 

9. balat and 'Am'atiq, the descendants of Mauqis, and to their har- 

vests and good fruits in 
10. the land Nakhla Kharif, and in the pastures of their camels. To 
'Umm-Athtar. 

The value of this inscription to our subject can scarcely 
be overrated. 'Umm-Athtar is not a new female divinity 
as the Derenbourgs thought,^ but is as Mordtmann has 
rightly seen, simply "mother Athtar."^ 'Umm-Athtar is 
also in 1. 2 called "lady."^ 

It is therefore clear that she is, in the thought of these 
worshippers, still a goddess. No doubt, therefore, it was 
an Athtar thus conceived who was invoked in such proper 
names as Yasma'um, meaning "may mother hear."* 
Although the parents, who caused the inscription under 
discussion to be written, addressed Athtar as " lady " and 
as "mother," they nevertheless describe themselves as 
" his servants," ^ showing that they were conscious that at 
times, or possibly that in neighboring places, the deity 
was regarded as a god, and that the transition was be- 
ginning to make itself felt in their own thought. At the 
same time the character of the old mother goddess, or 
deity of sexual love and fertility, was still strictly main- 
tained ; they give thanks for the birth of their seven chil- 
dren, and while they pray for more they pray also for 
their harvests and pasture lands, over which the same 
goddess has power. It is also an interesting fact that the 
name of the place where this "mother Athtar," who is 
called "he," was worshipped was Nakhla Kharif, which 

^ Op. cit., p. 259. 
" Simjarische Inschriften, p. 25. 
8 Sabsean, nxils. 

4 Sabsean, D»raD\ Cf. Journal asiatique, 6 Ser., Vol. XIX, p. 213, 
No. 4171. 

6 Sabsean, W-\2V. 



TRANSFORMATIONS 127 

means " the palm tree of ripe fruit," — a fact which con- 
nects this deity with the date-palm, as we have done in 
the preceding chapter. 

Tlie evidence that Athtar in Sabsea was transformed 
into a god is abundant. He is called hdal or " lord " in a 
considerable number of inscriptions which come from sev- 
eral different localities,^ and is at least once, as already- 
noted, called "father." Robertson Smith was of the 
opinion that the term hdal originated in Syria and was 
borrowed by the Yemenites from thence.^ If this be true, 
the application of the term ha'al to Athtar would be 
decidedly late. Smith's argument is, however, based on 
the supposition that all agricultural processes were bor- 
rowed from Syria, even to the cultivation of the date-palm, 
— an opinion which our investigation has proven <* to be, 
in part at least, untenable. The primitive Semitic social 
and religious institutions presuppose the culture of the 
date-palm and a semi-agricultural life. The course of 
development which Semitic social life underwent, how- 
ever, assures us that the bdal form of marriage made its 
appearance at a comparatively late time, and that therefore 
the ha'al conception of deity is likewise late whether it 
was borrowed by the Yemenites from Syria or not. We 
are safe, then, in assuming that the ha'al Athtar is later 
than the ^umm Athtar and was developed out of her. 

This masculine Athtar was in places called " lord of the 
water supply," * and like the feminine Athtar described 
above, was a god of fertility, whose blessing was necessary 
to abundant harvests.^ That Athtar became localized in 
different places in each of which slightly different con- 
ceptions of him were entertained, so that there were 

1 See CIS., Pt. rV, "Vol. I, Nos. 40^, 41', 466 . Mordtmann, op. cit., No. 
8862, and ZDMG., Vol. XXXVII, pp. 4 and 326. 

2 Beligion of the Semites, 2d ed., p. 107 ff. 
8 See p. 75, n. 4. 

* Cf. CIS., Pt. IV, Vol. I, No. 41, and Fell, ZDMG., Vol. LIV, p. 245. 
6 CIS., Pt. IV, Vol. I, Nos. 104 and 105. 



128 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



different gods of this name just as there were different 
Ishtars in Assyria and different Virgin Marys in modern 
Europe, I have shown elsewhere. ^ 

It frequently happens in such cases that some favorite 
epithet of the deity is used so constantly to designate him 
that it finally displaces his original name: thus Tammuz 
(or whatever the primitive name was) became Adon, as 
did Yah we in Israel. Fell has shown ^ how frequently the 
Sabseans attached epithets to their gods, but his investi- 
gation of the subject is not sufficiently thoroughgoing. 
He stops at what are still epithets only, and does not at- 
tempt to distinguish those divine names which originated 
as epithets. It is possible to show how several divine 
names in Arabia originated in this way. At 'Amran the 
epithet Ilmaqqahu, "the divine protector," very nearly 
displaced the older name of Athtar.^ In thirty inscrip- 
tions, Ilmaqqahu has displaced the name Athtar except in 
two instances,* and in the former of these ^ the meaning 
of the inscription equates Ilmaqqahu with Athtar. Ilmaq- 
qahu is, moreover, throughout this group of inscriptions, a 
protector of children and a giver of fertility, — functions 
not only performed by Athtar elsewhere, as we have seen, 
but also performed by Athtar in this very town, as one of 
the inscriptions from which the epithet Ilmaqqahu is 
omitted proves.^ This epithet was known elsewhere, e.g. 
at San'a,'^ but at 'Amran it nearly displaced every other 
name of Athtar. At times, as in some of the inscriptions 
published by Mordtmann,® the personification of the epi- 
thet goes so far that Athtar and Ilmaqqahu are put side 
by side as separate gods. Thus the evolution of a new 
deity from an old, by the use of an epithet, was completed. 

From this phenomenon it is safe to infer that if other 
South Arabian, or indeed Semitic, gods appear, whose 

1 Hebraica, Vol. X, pp. 57, 203, 204. * Nos. 74 and 102. 

« ZDMG., Vol. LIV, p. 238 ff. « No. 74. 

8 See CIS., Pt. IV, Vol. I, Nos. 72-102. « No. 102. 

' Cf. CIS., Pt. IV, Vol. I, No. 18. 8 ZDMG., Vol. LII, pp. 394-400. 



TRANSFORMATIONS 129 



names are epithets, and whose characteristics and functions 
are clearly those of Athtar, that they are offshoots from 
him and have arisen in a similar manner. Another 
instance of this may be seen in the god Talab Riyam, 
" The Strong One of Riyam," i (analogous to the " Mighty 
One of Jacob " ^ as a name for Yah we). The S6uth Arabic 
epithet has, however, gone so far that the combination of 
the name of the locality with the adjective is complete, and 
the two have so fully displaced the name of Athtar that 
in one instance^ Athtar is enumerated in the same sen- 
tence as a separate deity. That the two were originally 
one appears from the fact that they both have the same 
functions of fertility.* 

Thus Yemen developed many masculine deities, — how 
many, we do not yet know, and probably shall not when 
all the inscriptions which South Arabia can yield are found 
and read, for many of them no doubt passed away without 
leaving any monument behind to commemorate them. 

The old mother goddess was not, however, lost in con- 
sequence of this transformation. She was retained as the 
consort of the male deity ; or to speak more accurately, 
she was divided into two deities, a masculine and a fem- 
inine. This masculine deity was identified in the age from 
which our inscriptions come with the morning star, and 
was often known as " Athtar Sharqan," ^ while the fem- 
inine deity was identified with the sun, and called " Shams." 
That Shams should be a goddess in South Arabia while 
Shamash was elsewhere a god, was due, perhaps, as we 
shall see, to the absence of foreign influences ; but whatever 
its explanation, it is a fact. The expression " to the god- 
dess Shams, the Lady " (ha'alaf) occurs in one inscription,^ 

1 Mordtmann, Simjarische Inschrifien, etc., Nos. 825, 826, 830, 860, 
866, 875, and 879. 

" Isa. 49'^ and 60i6. ^ uo. 866. * Cf. No. 82527-29. 

5 Cf. Hehraica, Vol. X, p. 204. Fell, however, thinks that Sehsean 
analogies would lead us to regard Sharqan as a place. See ZDMQ., Vol. 
LIV, pp. 241, 242. 

6 Mordtmann and MuUer's Sabaische Denkmdlern, No. 13. 



130 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



while the term hdalat is applied to her in others.^ She is 
therefore clearly feminine. She was further thought to 
be the spouse of the masculine god of fertility, and they 
together were thought to be the parents of their worship- 
pers. Thus one inscription, published by Mordtmann, 
read in its original form, as he has pointed out, " with Talab 
Riyam and with Shams, their parents, are the sons of 
Dinn."^ Here Shams is undoubtedly the spouse of a deity 
which, as we have seen, sprung from Athtar. This pas- 
sage makes it clear that when "Athtar Sharqan and 
Shams" are coupled together in another inscription, as 
objects of devotion,^ they were worshipped as the union 
of male and female in the divine circle, analogous to the 
union of husband and wife in the patriarchal home, which 
had become the basis of Arabian society. 

The material upon which these observations are founded 
comes from the Sabaean and later periods. The same was 
probably also true of the religion of the earlier Minsean 
kingdom. At least that is the conclusion forced upon me 
by an examination of the material accessible to me. The 
Minsean kingdom was composed of a number of tribes, 
each of which had its local deity. In what is probably one 
of the earliest Mineean inscriptions,* coming from Waqhail, 
the second king of Ma'in whose name is recovered,^ three 
deities are mentioned, — Athtar of Qabd, Wadd, and Nak- 
rakh. That this Athtar was not originally a member of the 
Pantheon of the city of Ma'in seems certain, from the 

1 E.g. in Mordtmann's Simjarische Inschriften, No. 880. 

2 Op. cit., No. 869. 

" CIS., Pt. IV, Vol. I, No. 74. There are two or three interesting pas- 
sages in which Shams is associated with a masculine form of Athtar (in 
two oases it is Ilmaqqahu) and is called "his Shams." See C/jS., Noa. 
106; 143 and 149. Winckler has endeavored to show (ZDMG., Vol. 
lilV, pp. 408-420) that Shams also meant "goddess" at times, as 
Ishtar did among the Assyrians. Even if this be so, it, like Ishtar, also 
designated a definite goddess. 

* Hal^vy, No. 255 {Journal asiatique, 1872). 

'" Cf. Weber, in Mitteihmgen der vorderasiat. G-esell., 1901, Heft I, 
p. .59, and Mordtmann, ZDMG., Vol. XLVII, pp. 395-417. 



TRANSFORMATIONS 131 



fact that she (or he) is connected with another place, and 
also from the fact that a king who reigned three or four 
steps down the list mentions only Wadd and Muradawahi 
as the deities of Ma'in.^ In the inscriptions of other kings 
a number of Athtars of other places are included ; it is 
natural to conclude, therefore, that at Ma'in the native 
deities were Wadd and a feminine deity called by various 
epithets. That the primitive Semitic order of society and 
of thought had largely passed away is shown by the 
presence of the la'al idea in these inscriptions.^ 

The name Wadd is an epithet formed from a root mean- 
ing " love," and there can be no doubt that Wadd is but 
another name for a masculinized Athtar, or for an Arabian 
Tammuz. Another Minsean inscription makes him the 
consort of the old mother goddess under the name of 
Athirat,^ a name derived from the posts which marked the 
old Semitic sanctuary. There can be little doubt, there- 
fore, that the transformation which we trace elsewhere in 
later inscriptions, had taken place at Ma'in by the begin- 
ning of the period of the Minsean kingdom. 

If now we pass to North Arabia and assume that the 
same laws of religious development were at work there, it 
will appear that a number of deities were evolved by the 
same social forces out of the transformed mother goddess, 
and that Allah himself, the one true God of Mohammed- 
anism, was originally one of these gods. That Mohammed 
introduced a large spiritual element into the Islamic con- 
ception of Allah cannot be denied. The strong assertion 
of the unity of God, his eternity and aloneness, made, for 
example, in Sura 112, distinctly and immeasurably exalted 
the Arabian conception of divinity. Mohammed's earnest 
effort to make the association of any other divinity with 
Allah impossible * dealt a death blow to the old heathenism. 

1 Halgvy, No. 229. 

2 Cf. the proper name "Ba'alat," in Hal^vy, No. 234. 

' Cf. Hommel, Expository Times, Vol. XI, p. 190, and Aufsatze 
und Abhandlungen, Vol. II, p. 206 ff. ; also below, Chapter VI. 
* See, e.g., Suras 4 and 53, passim. 



132 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



No one who reads the Qur'an can doubt that for much of 
the purity and loftiness of this monotheism Mohammed 
was indebted to Judaism and Christianity. ^ It is also 
clear that the pure monotheism of the early years of his 
ministry was not attractive to his fellow countrymen, and 
that in the later years of his career several concessions 
were made to the older Arabian religious ideas. Thus 
after his migration to Medina the qibla, or direction of the 
face in prayer, was changed from Jerusalem to Mecca.^ 
In consequence, the Qa'aba became for the Mohammedan 
the sanctuary of Allah, so that Mohammed could subse- 
quently call it " the holj'' house," " the holy sanctuary. " ^ 
He also provided that if, while on a pilgrimage to Mecca, 
one killed game, — an act which violated an old taboo,* — 
a sacrifice of atonement for it must be offered to Allah in 
the Qa'aba.^ The one God, Allah, was thus identified 
with the god of the Qa'aba, and it became his sanctuary, 
which it has remained to the present time. One of the 
evidences of borrowing is that, though Mohammedanism 
knows no necessity of atonement, yet a part of the ritual 
to which every pilgrim to Mecca must conform is the 
offering of a sacrifice.^ This is a camel, bullock, goat, or 
sheep, according to the wealth of the pilgrim. Such a 
custom is clearly a survival from heathen ritual. 

This identification of Allah with the god of the Qa'aba 
could, however, not have been made had not a god been pre- 
viouslj' worshipped at the Qa'aba who could be thus fused 
with Mohammed's Allah without doing serious violence to 
religious feeling. It has been frequently pointed out that 

1 Cf . Geiger's Was hat Mohammed aus dem Judenthum attfgenommen 9 
1833, and The Bible and Islam, by Henry Preserved Smith, New York, 
1897. 

2 Sura 2i4». 

3 Sura 52- 3. 

* Robertson Smith's Seligion of the Semites, 2d ed., p. 112 ff., and 
144 ff. 

5 Sura S^s-ss. 

Cf. Zwemer's Arabia, the Cradle of Islam, 1900, p. 39. 



TRANSFORMATIONS 133 



the goddess Al-Uzza was especially connected with the 
sanctuary at Mecca. ^ It is clear, however, from one of 
Mohammed's Meccan Suras which dates from the earlier 
years of his ministry (53^®"), that the popular mythology 
made Al-Uzza, Al-Lat, and Manat daughters of a male 
deity which, even at this early period, Mohammed identi- 
fied with Allah. This is not surprising, for what is more 
natural than that Mohammed should believe that the god 
of his childhood's tribal faith was after all one with the 
God of his larger thought and prophetic ministry? That 
a goddess should be at Mecca the daughter of a god is the 
reverse of the conception which prevailed among the primi- 
tive Semites, and which was preserved among the Naba- 
thaeans, where Al-Lat was regarded as the mother of 
Dhu-'l-Shara.^ These facts and the course of development 
in the conception of deity which we have traced in south 
Arabia lead us to suggest the following as the probable 
history of the conception of deity at Mecca. The shrine 
with its sacred spring, the Zemzem, was originally the 
shrine of the mother goddess, Athtar. By processes iden- 
tical with those which operated in Yemen she was divided 
into a masculine and a feminine deity, or by influences 
similar to those which appear in the Gilgamish epic in 
Babylonia, Tammuz had become her husband. This is not 
a mere conjecture, since the memory of this masculine and 
feminine pair under the names Isaf and Naila has actually 
been preserved in Mohammedan tradition.^ To this femi- 
nine deity different epithets were applied. Whether these 
epithets grew out of the thought of the Meccans them- 
selves, or were in part the result of syncretism with other 
Arabic tribes, we cannot now determine. These epithets 
became so fixed that in time they were regarded as the 

' Cf. Robertson Smith's Kinship, p. 294, Wellhausen's Heidentum 
2d ed., p. 36 ft., and Hehraica, Vol. X, p. 64 ft. 

2 See Smith, Kinship, p. 292 ; and Religion of the Semites, p. 56 ft. ; and 
Hehraica, Vol. X, p. 64 ; and below, Chapter VI. 

«Cf. Wellhausen, Heidentum, 2d ed., p. 77. 



134 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



names of different goddesses. In course of time the male 
phase of the Athtar at Mecca so overshadowed the female, 
just as the patriarchate had in human society overshadowed 
the matriarchate, that the feminine deity, the mother, was 
to such a degree subordinated that the male could be 
called Al-lahu, or "the god." This god was also known 
as Hubal, and there was an idol of him in the Qa'aba. 
Wellhausen has anticipated me in identifying him with 
Allah. ^ For a long time one of the epithets applied to the 
old mother goddess was thought to be the name of Hubal's 
spouse, while others were thought to be the names of their 
daughters. By the time of the prophet, however, if we 
may judge by the one allusion made to it, Allah and his 
daughters were thought by the Meccans to constitute their 
pantheon. 

At this juncture Mohammed appeared and endeavored 
to exalt and purify the conception of Allah possessed by 
his countrymen. Finding himself after years of preaching 
unable to banish the old heathenism, he compromised, — 
banishing the goddesses who still were the patrons of social 
impurity, and persuading the people to regard them as 
mere names, — he led them to identify the god of the 
Qa'aba with the one God of the universe. Thus the God 
of Islam was engrafted onto a natural stock, which had its 
root in the primitive Semitic mother goddess. 

No doubt the few gods of Arabic heathenism which are 
known to us through Mohammedan sources originated, at 
least most of them, in the same way. Their names are epi- 
thets, as Dhu-'l-Khalasa, Al-Fals, Al-Galsad, Al-Uqaisir, 
etc. 2 They were each connected with some idol which 

1 Op. cit., pp. 75, 76. Among the customs which Mohammedanism in- 
herited from this old cult is that which requires the pilgrim to make a cir- 
cuit seven times around the Qa'aba. He must lay aside his own clothes 
and put on two pieces of cloth, one around the loins and the other over 
the back, but in the more shameless days of heathenism it was done with- 
out any clothing whatever. Cf. Zwemer's Arabia, the Cradle of Islam, 
p. 38. 

2Cf. Wellhausen's Heidentum, 2d ed., pp. 45-64. 



TKANSFORMATIONS 135 

was often a natural crag or stone. The details of their 
history are unknown to us, but if we could ascertain them 
we should no doubt find that these gods were developed 
out of the primitive Semitic mother goddess by the same 
laws of progress and differentiation, the action of which 
we have already traced. 

Passing now to Abyssinia, we find the worship of the 
same deity, known here as Astar, the form which the name 
of the primitive mother goddess assumed in Ethiopic. 
The worship of Astar is vouched for in an inscription from 
Aksum, fragmentary copies of which were brought to 
Europe as long ago as 1833, and of which other fragments 
have been secured at various times since. Bent in 1892 
secured an almost perfect copy. The inscription was 
written a little later than 400 A.D.^ There is also much 
in Abyssinia besides the name to connect this deity with 
the Athtar of south Arabia. At the site of the city of 
Yeha, Bent found some fragmentary inscriptions which 
made allusion to a place called Ava or Awa, apparently 
situated on the present site of Yeha. Bent concludes that 
Awa was the original name of Yeha. One of these frag- 
mentary inscriptions reads "his house (temple), Awa."^ 
This inscription is written in the Sabeean script, evidently 
by an immigrant from south Arabia. D. H. Miiller has 
also pointed out that in two inscriptions from 'Amran (and 
there are really more than two) Ilmaqqahu is called " Lord 
of Awa™."^ Awa™ was probably a temple, since it was 
situated in the city, Alw.* This confirms Bent's con- 
jecture^ that Yeha was formerly called Awa, and was 

1 Cf. D. H. Mailer's Epigraphische Denkmalern aus Abessinien, Wien, 
1894, pp. 37, 38. 

" Cf . Theodore Bent's Sacred City of the Ethiopians, pp. 145, 235, and 
Mailer, op. cit; in n. 7, p. 61. 

» Mailer, op. cit., p. 61, Bent, op. cit., p. 237. Cf. CIS., Pt. IV, Vol. I, 
Nos. 74, 80, 99, 126, 147, and 155. Cf. Glaser's Die Abessinier in Arabia 
und Afrika, pp. 103-105, and Hal^vy in Bevue semitique, Vol. IV, pp. 78-79. 

* CIS., Pt. IV, Vol. I, No. 741 

'Bent, op. cit., p. 145. 



136 SEMITIC OKIGINS 



founded by immigrants from south Arabia who brought 
the cultus of that country with them. Ilmaqqahu, who is 
described as " Lord of Awa™ " we have already found to 
be a local development of Athtar, so that a chain of epi- 
graphic evidence connects the worship in ancient Yeha 
with the old Arabian mother goddess. 

The deities of this cult in Arabia were often thought to 
reside in a crag or stone,i one of which may still be seen 
near Taif, in which Al-Lat was once thought to make her 
home. 2 These stones corresponded to the massebas of the 
northern Semites. The temple at Yeha still exhibits 
traces of monoliths which answered a similar purpose, and 
like those at Aksum, to be mentioned presently, help us 
to identify the widely extended traces of this ancient 
cult.3 

The two countries on the opposite shores of the Red Sea 
were at this time closely united, as the epigraphic evidence 
shows,* and Glaser contends that Habashat, the old Semitic 
name of which Abyssinia is a corruption, was not confined 
to the African side of the sea, but designated a part of the 
Arabian peninsula as well.^ It is, however, beyond dis- 
pute, in consequence of the monumental evidence, that 
migration to Africa took place after the masculine Athtar 
had been developed, and that close political relations were 
maintained between the two regions for a considerable 
period of time. 

Bent has shown that when hard pressed by their foes at 
Yeha, the Semitic Abyssinians removed their capital to 
Aksum and transferred their shrine thither. This shrine 

^ Cf. Wellhausen, Heidentum, 2d ed., pp. 45-64, and Smith, Beligion 
of the Semites, 2d ed,, pp. 201, 204, and 340. 

" Cf. Doughty's Arabia Deserta, Vol. II, pp. 515 and 517. 

'See Bent, op. cit., p. 139, and Wylde, Modern Abyssinia, pp. 150 ff., 
154 ff. 

* Cf. D. H. Miiller, Epigraphische Denkmalern aus Abessinien, pp. 
75-79, and Hehraica, Vol. X, p. 202 ff. 

5 See his book. Die Ahessinier in Arabia und Afrika, passim, and 
ZDMG., Vol. L, pp. 294, 295. 



TRANSFORMATIONS 137 



was marked by a large number of monoliths which served 
as noshs or massebas, though like those at Yeha they were 
somewhat more developed than those of the Israelites and 
Cypriotes, since they had altars at their bases.^ They are 
taller than the monoliths found by Bliss at Tell-es-Safi in 
Palestine,^ but like them seem to have been massebas. 
These objects, whether called nosbs or massebas, or by what- 
ever name, were in general in the form of rude phalli, and 
were no doubt chosen as the symbol of Semitic deity 
because of their resemblance to the organ of the god of 
life. Bent noted that the altars attached to the monoliths 
at Aksum, as well as certain decorations which they bore, 
were on the side of the rising sun.^ This, he inferred, 
connected them with sun worship. The presence of the 
name Astar at Aksum, together with the chain of evidence 
which connects Athtar with Yeha, enables us to see in the 
orientation of these monoliths an evidence of the worship 
of Athtar Sharqan, with whom, as in Arabia, Shams was 
probably associated. This inference is confirmed by the 
traces of heathen ritual which have survived in the 
Abyssinian church. All the church festivals are cele- 
brated with music and dancing like heathen orgies.* On 
entering the church the threshold and door posts are 
kissed, showing that they are held to be sacred. ^ The 
great festival of the year is the feast of the Cross, which 
occurs in September, the month of the old Semitic date 
harvest festival, and which we have already identified 
with it.^ An important part of the celebration of this 
festival is the building of fires on the high places and the 
slaughter of oxen before sunrise, — traits not only heathen 
in their origin, but which connect themselves in form with 

1 Bent, op. cit., pp. 180, 182, and 185. 

2 Cf. Pal. Expl. Fund's Quarterly Statement for October, 1899, pp. 
317-320. 

'Bent, op. cit., p. 190. 

*Bent, ibid., pp. 53, 83, 84, and 165, also A Visit to Abyssinia, by W. 
Winstanley, London, 1881, Vol. II, p. 127. 

^Winstanley, op. cit., p. 127. 'Above, p. 112. 



138 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



the morning sacrifice of the camel to Al-Uzza by the Arabs 
of Sinai, which the son of Nilus witnessed. ^ The autumn 
festival of the old mother goddess is scarcely disguised by 
its Christian name. The church at Aksum is also prob- 
ably the old temple ; and to this day the old Semitic right 
of asylum is enjoyed there by the wrong-doer^ as it was 
in Israel at the altars of Yahwe.^ 

Abyssinia consists for the most part of a high tableland 
on which crops are easily grown. The country is there- 
fore an agricultural one, and subsistence is decidedly easier 
than in Arabia.* The central and southern portions are 
especially fertile.^ These conditions of life wrought, so 
far as we can tell, no change in the Semitic family or the 
Semitic conception of deity. The migration occurred so 
late that the development traced in Arabia had already 
taken place, and the cult was transplanted bodily to Africa. 

The inscription of Ezana, which contains the name of 
Astar, couples with it two other deities, Barras and Medr. 
These gods are, I believe, not otherwise known, but it is 
probable that one or both of them arose from Athtar, first 
having been used as an epithet, and coming afterwards to 
be regarded as a distinct god on account of its separate 
name. In an inscription published by Halevy,* lUmaq- 
qahu, whom we have already shown to be an Athtar, is 
called " Lord of Medr." In this expression, Medr is the 
name of a place.'' According to a passage in Iklil, quoted 
by Sprenger,^ there stood opposite the mosque of Medr a 
large castle with a marble slab on which was a picture of 

1 Smith, Beligion of the Semites, 2d ed., pp. 166, 281, etc. 

2 Bent, op. cit., p. 163. 

8 Cf. Ex. 2112-w, and 1 Kgs. 1 and 2. 

<Bent, op. cit., pp. 67, 79, 90, 91, 135, 136, 154, and 202, also Wylde, 
op. cit., ch. xi. 

5 Geology and Zoology of Abyssinia', by W. T. Blandford, The Mac- 
millanCo., 1870, p. 196. 

8 Journal asiatique, Ser. 6, Vol. XIX, p. 164, No. 172. 

' Cf. Mordtmann and MiiUer's Sabdische Denkmdler, p. 59. 

' Alte Geographie Arabiens, p. 221. 



TRANSFORMATIONS 139 



the sun and moon. It is conceivable that Athtar was 
called " Lord of Medr " until the title was abbreviated 
to Medr, who, when his devotees had removed to Africa, 
was in time regarded as a god separate from Astar. 

The case of Barras is even more obscure. D. H. Miiller 
has conjectured^ that he was the god of thunder and 
lightning because the Arabic barasa means to gleam or 
flash (micare). If there be any value in this guess, the 
name " Thunderer " may well have been an epithet of 
Athtar. These are, however, only possibilities, and the 
gods may have originated in ways quite different, — they 
may, for example, have been native Abyssinian deities, 
whose place was fixed before the Semitic immigration, 
whose favor the Semites felt bound to propitiate, as the 
Babylonians whom Sargon settled in Samaria felt bound 
to propitiate Yahwe.^ 

Turning now to the countries north of Arabia, we come 
first to the land of Moab. This country forms part of the 
fertile strip at the eastern end of the Mediterranean which 
we call Syria. This region is cut off from those sterile in- 
fluences which render Arabia a desert by the proximity of 
the sea and by its two ranges of mountains.^ A rainfall is 
thus secured and the country redeemed from the encroach- 
ments of the desert. The most easterly of the mountain 
ranges of Syria forms the eastern bulwark of Moab toward 
the desert, bringing its high plateaus within the region of 
rain and fertility.* The elevated plains of Moab must 
have been from time immemorial excellent pasture lands ; 
and the few glimpses which the Old Testament and the 
Moabite Stone give us of its industry, confirm us in the 
belief that the Moabites were engaged mostly in pastoral 
pursuits. Thus the tribute paid by Mesha to Omri and 

1 Epigraphische Denkmaler aus Abessinien, p. 44. 
» Of. 2 Kgs. 1724-34. 

* See G. A. Smith's Historical Geography of the Holy Land, pp. 45-48. 

* Cf. G. A. Smith, as above, and Hull's "Geology of Palestine" in 
Hastings's Dictionary of the Bible. 



140 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



Ahab was paid in wool,^ while the sacrifices which Mesha 
claims to have offered to his god consisted of sheep alone. ^ 

The conditions of life in a country like this must have 
been far easier than in Arabia. How far back in antiquity 
the Semites began to overrun Moab, no one knows. The 
language of the Moabite Stone is practically identical 
with the Hebrew of the Old Testament. A dialect 
identical with both was spoken in Canaan in the fifteenth 
century B.C., and has influenced the Babylonian of the 
El-Amarna letters.^ In their traditions the Israelites also 
recognize the Moabites as their kinsmen.* These facts, 
together with the character of the Hebrew-Moabitish 
language, which belongs to the north Semitic group, — 
languages which have undergone a long development 
independently of Arabic, — make it evident that the Moa- 
bitish emigration was part of a movement which took 
place many centuries before the date of the Moabite 
Stone. 

In a country like Moab, where the conditions of life are 
not as severe as in Arabia, social evolution would proceed, 
even if undisturbed by outside foreign influences, much 
more rapidly than in the Arabian peninsula itself. Keas- 
bey's researches into the formation of the clan^ have 
shown that in the pastoral stage of civilization the patri- 
archal clan is formed as the natural result of the environ- 
ment. The conditions, therefore, in Moab must have 
produced a patriarchal family centuries earlier than it 
was produced in Arabia. The few references to Moab in 
the Old Testament and the text of the Moabite Stone 
confirm this view. The patriarchate was fully established 
there before the ninth century B.C. How long before we 

1 Cf. 2 Kgs. 3* and Moabite Stone {e.g. Smend and Socin's Inschrift 
des Konigs Mesa von Moab, Freiburg, 1886), 11. 3-9. 

2 Cf. Moabite Stone, 11. 30, 31. ip: and JSJ: are the terms used. 

' Cf. Zimmern in Zeit. d. deutsch. Palastina-Vereins, Vol. XIII, H. 3, 
and ZA., Vol. VI, pp. 245-263; also my "Peculiar Use of Iia.ni," in 
PA08., 1892, p. cxcix. 

♦ See Gen. 18 and 19. * See above, p. 30. 



TRANSFORMATIONS 141 



do not know. Their chief divinity, Chemosh, is a male 
deity, — a fact which presupposes a patriarchal society for 
a time sufficiently long to influence their religious con- 
ceptions.^ 

Contrary to the opinion of many scholars, I believe 
Chemosh to be genetically connected with the old Semitic 
mother goddess. This opinion rests in part on the anal- 
ogy of the south Arabian development already traced, 
but largely on the interpretation of the name, Ashtar- 
Chemosh of 1. 17 of Mesha's inscription. Baethgen,^ 
Driver,^ Moore,* and Peake,^ hold that this deity Ashtar 
is not identical with Chemosh, but is an Ashtar, or Astarte, 
who was associated in worship with him. Moore suggests 
that it is parallel to Malik-Ashtart ^ and to the Ashtart 
worshipped in the shrine of the god Hamman of the 
Ma' sub inscription.^ This view appears to me untenable 
on the following grounds : 1. The parallels urged are all 
much later in date than the Mesha inscription. They 
represent movements of thought influenced by Persian or 
Greek ideas, or by both. The combination Ashtar-Che- 
mosh may fittingly be compared with the combination 
Yahwe-Elohim with which it is approximately contempo- 
rary,* but not with Melek- Ashtart, which is considerably 
later. Such comparison suggests the identification of god 
with god on account of political union, but not the union 
of a god with a goddess. 2. Ashtar in the inscription of 
Mesha lacks the feminine termination, and is therefore 

1 Cf. Moabite Stone, U. 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 11, 12, and Nu. 2129, i Kgs. IV-^, 
Jer. 48'- "• «, etc. 

^ Beitrage zur semitischen Beligionsgeschichte, 1888, p. 14. 

• Article " Ashtoreth," Hastings's Dictionary of the Bible, p. 171a. 

* " Chemosh " in Encyc. Bib. 

* " Chemosh " in Hastings's Dictionary of the Bible. 

• CIS., Pt. I, Vol. I, No. 8. 

' Cf. G. Hoffmann, TJber einige phoen. Ins. , p. 20. 

' This statement is based, not on the form Yahwe-Elohim as it appears 
in our present Biblical text, where it is made to appear to be a harmoniza- 
tion with the late P document, but on the practical identification of the 
two when the J and E documents were united about 650 b.c. 



142 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



a god and not a goddess. True, in primitive Semitic the 
name designated a goddess without the help of a feminine 
ending ; it is also true that in Babylonia and Assyria the 
name continued to do so down to the latest times ; but 
wherever the name has been found among the southera 
Semites without the feminine termination, it designates 
either an actual or a nascent god, and wherever it is found 
among the western Semites designating a goddess it has 
the feminine ending. It seems safe to conclude, there- 
fore, that the name in Moab which was on the border of 
Arabia and Canaan and intimately connected with the lat- 
ter, would, when lacking a feminine termination, designate 
a god. To break the force of this consideration one of two 
things should be clearly proven, either that the feminine 
ending was added to the name by the rest of the westera 
Semites after the time of Mesha, or that Babylonian influ- 
ence is responsible for its disuse here. Although all the 
Biblical and Phoenician material containing the name is 
later than the Moabite Stone, the name occurs twice ia 
the El-Amarna tablets ^ as the name of a city, — no doubt 
the Biblical place which bore the name "Ashtaroth," 
named from the goddess, — and here the feminine ending 
appears. The west Semitic custom had attached the 
feminine termination to the name by the fourteenth cen- 
tury B.C., and that too on Moab's very border. The only 
reason for suspecting Babylonian influence in Moab is the 
possible connection of a proper name or two with Babylo- 
nian names, such as Mount Nebo with the name of the Baby- 
lonian god Nabu. But even if the name of a mountain 
and a city survived from the time of Babylonian occupa- 
tion (which is uncertain), that is insufficient ground for 
supposing that the name, Ishtar, survived for six hundred 
years without modification, when all the neighboring 

1 Cf. KB., Vol. V, pp. 263 (No. 1421"), and 353 (No. 237"), also Gem. 
146, and Josh. 13^1. For the identification of the localities mentioned ia 
these letters, and the demonstration of their east Jordan situation, see 
Sayoe's Patnarchal Palestine, pp. 133 ff. and 152 ff. 



TRANSFORMATIONS 143 



people, with whom the Moabites were intimately associ- 
ated, used it with the feminine termination. 3. Mesha 
equates Ashtar-Chemosh with Chemosh. He says (1. 14 
ff.)» " And Chemosh said to me ' go and take Nebo against 
Israel,' and I went by night and fought against it from 
break of dawn till noon, and I took it and killed all of 
them, seven thousand men and boys and the women and 
girls and slave-girls, for I had made them harim to Ashtar- 
Chemosh." Now it seems clear that the king would devote 
his victims to the god who sent him forth to battle, — the 
god who held, as the inscription shows throughout, the 
same relation to the nation as a whole, which Yahwe bore 
to Israel. Chemosh appears alone at the end of the in- 
scription, 11. 32, 33. Ashtar-Chemosh cannot, therefore, 
be even in part a different god from Chemosh. If under 
such circumstances he had desired to associate a goddess 
with Chemosh, he would hardly have put her before him. 
It seems more natural to suppose that Ashtar-Chemosh 
like Yahwe-Elohim is the union of two names into one 
compound designation, either element of which might be 
used for the god alone. 

The course of religious development in Moab must, 
therefore, have been not unlike that in south Arabia; 
the mother goddess under the pressure of social transfor- 
mation became a father god, and through the use of epi- 
thets gradually came to be called by another name. This 
development, as already observed, was earlier by centuries 
than that in Arabia. 

If this be true we should expect Chemosh to be a god of 
fertility. There is even in the very scanty material extant, 
some indication that this was the case. An old poem, 
twice quoted in the Old Testament,^ makes the Moabites 
his sons and daughters. He seems also to have been a 
ba'al, or god of the land. I can see no good reason for 
denying with Moore,^ a real identity between Chemosh 

1 Nu. 21 27-3" and Jer. 48 «■ «. 

* "Chemosh," in Encyc. Bib. Moore's denial probably is intended to 



144 SEMITIC OEIGINS 



and Baal Maoii,^ nor for his denial of the substantial 
identity of Chemosh and Baal Peor (Nu. 25 3, Hos. 9^% 
long ago perceived by Jerome. Baethgen is nearer the 
truth when he regards both of them as forms of Baal.^ 
We do not need to insist that the people always thought 
of the absolute identity of the god who was worshipped at 
one shrine with the god who was worshipped at another, 
any more than the untutored Catholic in modern Europe 
always is conscious of the identity of the Virgins 
adored at different shrines ; but the analogy of the Ath- 
tars of south Arabia and of the Baals of Syria make it 
practically certain that all had their root in the same god 
of fertility, by whatsoever name each may have been called. 

We learn from the prophet Hosea (91°), that the gross 
practices characteristic of the worship of the Semitic 
mother goddess in other localities, and which were so ab- 
horrent to the prophets, were a part of the cult of this 
Moabitish god. No doubt therefore as in south Arabia a 
form of this goddess still existed in Moab side by side with 
the male deity which had grown out of her, and that these 
two, with slightly varying attributes at different shrines, 
perpetuated in their worship the features which pertained 
to this cult in other countries. This result remains even 
if one were to disagree with the argument given above 
for the sex of Ashtar in Moab ; for if Ashtar were a god- 
dess, Chemosh, who is joined with her, would of necessity 
be her male counterpart, or he could not be so joined. The 
term ba'al would apply to him as aptly as we shall see that 
it applied in Syria and Phoenicia. How the name Chemosh 
came to be applied to this god we cannot tell ; it is still a 
puzzle. 

If now we turn to Phoenicia and Palestine, we come to 
a land different in many ways from any of those hitherto 
studied. Its contour is much more broken, and within 

mean no more than that the gods were worshipped at different shrines 
and therefore often thought of as practically distinct. 

1 Moabite Stone, 1. .30. 2 Op. cit., p. 15. 



TEANSFOKMATIONS 145 



comparatively narrow limits there is greater variety of 
scenery and climate than elsewhere in the Semitic world. 
It is a maritime country, bordering as it does on the 
Mediterranean coastland. Its two mountain ranges, — 
the Lebanon, with its hills tapering off into southern 
Judaea, and the range east of Jordan, — intercept the 
moisture from the sea and give an abundant rainfall. 
The deeply depressed valley of the Jordan and Dead Sea 
affords a climate of tropical warmth, while the snow-capped 
heights of Lebanon present the opposite extreme. ^ The 
soil along the maritime plain and in the valleys of Esdrae- 
lon and the Jordan is very fertile, while that of the hill- 
sides is well adapted to the vine. Trees have always grown 
in abundance on the hiUs, especially in the Lebanon region. 
The Assyrian kings boast often that they took from here 
beams with which to adorn their palaces.^ The low-lying 
lands have always been well adapted to grain, while in 
ancient times the palm tree grew in the Jordan valley and 
along the sea coast. The olive and the vine were the chief 
fruit bearers, the former being native in this region and 
the latter probably so.^ The land has, in historical times, 
been a land of orchards, the apricot, fig, pomegranate, 
orange, citron, mulberry, pistachio, and almond being its 
chief fruits, while the sycamore and carob tree yielded a 
living for the very poor.* Wheat, barley, and many vege- 
tables, such as onions, could be produced in abundance. In 
such a land agriculture was born in the remote prehistoric 
past, and its birth was inevitable. As George Adam Smith 
remarks : ^ "To pass from the desert into Syria is to leave 
the habits of the nomadic life for those of the agricultural. 
The process may be gradual, and generally has been so, 
but the end is inevitable." 

•■ G. A. Smith's Historical Oeography of the Holy Land, ch. ii. 
" Cf. e.g. KB., Vol. I, pp. 41, 108, and Vol. II, p. 113. 
» 6. A. Smith, op. cit., p. 82. 

* Cf. Amos 7" (Amos gathered sycamore figs), and Luke 15" (th« 
prodigal son ate carob pods), 
» Op. cit., p. 85. 



146 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



The beginnings of agricultural life in this region are 
shrouded in obscurity. In the El-Amarna letters the 
prince of Kumidi, near Gebal, sent, we are told, a tribute 
of olive oil to the king of Egypt.^ The Egyptian monu- 
ments of the middle empire tell the same tale. Wine, 
figs, grain, and olive oil are mentioned as products of Syria 
and Phoenicia,^ as well as several minerals, such as lead 
and copper. Agriculture therefore must have antedated 
in these lands the fifteenth century before Christ. Agri- 
culture may have been preceded by the pastoral stage of 
society, and the beginnings of the patriarchate and conse- 
quently the general supremacy of male deities may date 
from this stage of development.* 

Of the coming of the Semites into this region we know 
little. Lugalzaggisi, king of Erech 4000 B.C. or earlier, 
whom Hilprecht believes to have been a Semite,* claims to 
have subdued the country as far west as the Mediterra- 
nean Sea.^ Sargon of Agade, about 3800 B.C., conquered 
the Westland, or, as scholars generally regard it, the land 
of the Amurru or Amorites on the north of Canaan.® A 
contract tablet has been discovered which makes reference 
to it in its date. From this time onward many Babylonian 
kings claim to have conquered the Westland. That the 
claim was real the El-Amarna tablets have proven by 
showing that Babylonian culture had so penetrated the 
country that the language and script of Babylonia had 
become the regular vehicle of official communication. In 
the fifteenth or sixteenth century B.C. the Eg3rptians over- 

1 Cf. KB.,Yo\. V, p. 261. For location of Kumidi, cf. pp. 141, 187-189, 
and 201. 

2 Cf. W. Max Miiller's Asien und Europa, pp. 155 and 183. 
' Hilderbrand's Becht und Sitte, pp. 31-34. 

4 Cf. OBI., Pt. II, p. 54 ff. 

6 Hilprecht, op. cit, p. 53. 

6 Cf. Thureau Dangin in Comptes rendus de Vacademie dHnscriptions, 
1896, p. 358 ff. (identical with his TaUettes chaldeennes inedites, No. 17), 
also Driver in Hogarth's Authority and Archaeology, p. 40. For the 
identiiication of Marlu (Westland), with Amurru, see Schrader in Sits- 
ungsberichte of the Berlin Academy, 1894, p. 1301. 



TRANSFORMATIONS 147 

ran the region, and at a date which we cannot now deter- 
mine the Phoenicians had made their way into it. The 
Hittites also gained a strong foothold in the North earlier 
than the Egyptian conquest. Great as the mixture of 
races became, the Amorites appear to have maintained 
their identity down to the Hebrew period. Their name 
is still used by Amos and by the Elohist to designate the 
old inhabitants of Palestine.^ This people who persisted 
so long in a region where many races strove for the 
supremacy had then assumed by 3800 B.C. an importance 
so great that their land was coveted by the far-off Baby- 
lonian. If they had not then developed agriculture, it is 
difficult to understand why the country should have gained 
such prominence, unless there were fisheries to make their 
land conspicuous. There is some probability that the 
agriculture which we are able to establish by monumental 
evidence in the El-Amarna period is at least some twenty- 
five hundred years older than that. The Amorites, like 
other primitive peoples, must have had many local numina, 
the most important of which would on the principles 
already established be masculine deities. 

What would happen when a band of Semites entered 
this land, we may learn from 2 Kgs. 17^*- We are 
informed there that the colony of Babylonians whom 
Sargon settled in Samaria worshipped their own national 
gods until such disasters overtook them that they felt 
compelled to learn the worship of the god of the land. 
The worship of Yahwe which was thus begun by them 
did not cause them to forsake their old deities, but for a 
time both were worshipped together, and at last a new 
composite worship resulted. If one should object that 
this occurred very late in Semitic history, the objection 
would only strengthen our argument, for what could 
happen at so late a date must a fortiori have happened in 

1 Cf. Wellhausen, Jahrb. f. deut. TheoL, Vol. XXI, p. 602 ; Ed. 
Meyer in ZATW-, Vol. I, pp. 121-127; and Stade, Geschichte, Vol. I, 
p. 110. 



148 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



more primitive times. ^ Not altogether unlike this in 
principle was the custom of the Aztecs in Mexico to sacri- 
fice to the gods of conquered countries to propitiate them.^ 

At the period covered by the Old Testament and the 
Phoenician inscriptions the chief god of each locality was 
known as a ha'al, — a term which denotes the proprietor 
or inhabitant of some favored place or district. Robert- 
son Smith thought^ that among the Semites it designated 
the divine proprietor of naturally irrigated land, and there 
is much to be said for this view. Every city had its 
Baal,* and there would seem to have been as many of 
them as there were towns, cities, sanctuaries, or objects 
which appeared to the worshippers to have a religious 
significance. Thus there was the Baal of Tyre, the Baal 
of Sidon, Baal-Hamman, Baal-Barith, Baal-Shamem, Baal- 
Zebub, etc. In parts of Palestine this god was identified 
with the sun and called Shemesh. The town of Beth- 
Shemesh (1 Sam. 6) was named from his worship. 

This worship of Baal was in many places connected 
with the old mother goddess Ashtart; e.g. at Sidon an 
Ashtart of the name of Baal is coupled with Baal as his 
consort,^ and in the Old Testament Baal and Ashtoreth 
are frequently classed together as though they belonged 
to the same cult.^ It may be added that in North Africa, 
which was colonized from Phoenicia, the mother goddess 
Tanith, whom I have elsewhere shown to be an Ashtart,^ 
is constantly mentioned with Baal, and is sometimes called 
" The Face of Baal. " ^ What connection has this worship 
with the primitive conditions which we have discovered 
for the Semitic stock ? 

Moore suggests that these Baals were originally distinct 

^ Cf . Budde, JReligion of Israel to the Exile, 1899, p. 54 fi. 

2 Cf. Egville's Native Beligions of Mexico and Peru (Hibbert Lec- 
tures, 1884), 2ded., p. 31. 

3 Sel. of Sem., 2d ed., p. 97 ff. « Cf. CIS., Pt. I, Vol. I, No. 3". 
■t Cf. Jer. 228, 1113. » gee, e.g., Jud. 10». 

' Hebraica, Vol. X, pp. 48-53. 

8 CtCIS., Ft. 1, Vol. I, Nos. 195, 263, and 380. 



TRANSFORMATIONS 149 

local numina.^ In one sense that is no doubt true, just as 
the Ashtars of the primitive Semites were distinct numina, 
though each numen in its oasis was formed under condi- 
tions so similar to those which prevailed in other oases 
that all of them possessed a common form. 

When the Phoenicians or their ancestors first entered 
Syria, it is clear that they brought the worship of their 
Semitic goddess with them ; the survival of her worship 
as an independent deity at Sidon and GebaP is sufficient 
to prove this. We have shown that even in Arabia, as 
society changed to the patriarchal type, this goddess was 
transformed into a god, and it is clear that in an agricul- 
tural country like Syria, already inhabited by a settled 
and comparatively civilized people, which had for many 
centuries been swept by wars of conquest,^ the process 
would be greatly hastened. Each locality would have its 
local god worshipped by the Amurru, or Amorites, or who- 
ever the previous inhabitants were ; the incoming Semites, 
like the Babylonians settled in Samaria* (2 Kgs. 17^^'), 
would feel compelled to worship it ; they would at first 
worship their own goddess also until in time her cult 
would be blended in greater or less degree with that 
of the god, as that of Yahwe came in time to be blended 
in Israel with that of Baal.^ That this actually occurred 
is shown by one of the El-Amarna tablets, which refers 
to the goddess as " Ba'alat." * Thus syncretism helped the 
progress of natural development, and made a male deity 
supreme. 

At Tyre the local Baal was called Melqart,'^ or "King 

1 Article "Baal" in Encyc. Bib. 
« See below, Chapter VI. 

» For a discussion of the effects of war upon the sex of primitive agri- 
cultural earth goddesses, see below, Chapter V. 

* See above, p. 147. 

' See Budde's Religion of Israel to the Sxile, Leot. II, and below, 
Chapter VII. 

• See KB., Vol. V, p. 139. 

' Cf. CIS., Pt. I, Vol. 1, No. 122. 



150 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



of the city." It was doubtless the cult of this god which 
the Tyrian princess Jezebel introduced into Israel.^ We 
learn from Philo of Byblos that Astarte, Zeus Demarous, 
and Adodos reigned over the countries, and that Astarte 
took up her abode in Tyre.^ Zeus Demarous is probably 
Melqart, while Adodos, or Hadad, does not belong to Tyre, 
but is the Aramaean equivalent of Melqart. Thus at Tyre 
a god and a goddess had developed in the cult, although 
the persistency with which the old mother goddess clung 
to her independence is shown by the fact that Philo still 
names her first. From the Old Testament we learn, what 
we should naturally expect, that in most Canaanitish towns 
the Baal was the chief deity,^ and the same appears to 
have been the case in most of the PhcEnician colonies, since 
Baal is often addressed alone in their votive inscriptions.* 
Perhaps the same was true of North Africa, though there 
are some peculiar phenomena in the votive inscriptions 
from that land. In the numerous cippi published in the 
Corpus Inscriptionum Semitiearum, Tanith, though often 
called " face of Baal," is usually mentioned before him. 
The goddess is clearly subordinate to the god, but the 
older Semitic feeling still leads the worshipper to place her 
name first. The epithet, "face of Baal," probaby sur- 
vived from a time of transition when both masculine and 
feminine qualities were ascribed to the goddess, so that 
she was represented with a female form and a bearded 
face.^ 

At Sidon still a different development occurred. Sidon 
had its Baal, to which was attached, as has been remarked, 

1 See 1 Kgs. 18. 

2 See Eusebius, Freparatio Evangelica, ed. Dindorf, I, 10, 31 ; Orelli's 
Sanchoniathontis Fragmenta, p. 30 ; of. Hebraica, Vol. X, p. 31. 

8 Cf. Jer. 1113. 

* Cf. CIS., Pt. I, Vol. I, Nos. 12.3, 138, and 147, and the inscriptions 
published by Philippe Berger, Actes du X7« cong. d. orent., Sec. IV, p. 
273 ff. 

6 See below, Chapter VI, and an article, "An Androgynous Babylonian 
Divinity " in JOAS., Vol. XXP f., 186 fl. 



TRANSFORMATIONS 151 

an Ash tart "of the name of Baal"; but side by side with 
this pair the mother goddess alone held her supremacy also, 
for separate from the "Ashtart of the name of Baal" was 
another Ashtart, whose priest king Tabnith was, and whose 
priestess, his wife.^ This fact confirms the hint given in 
the Old Testament phrase : "Ashtoreth, the abomination 
of the Sidonians."^ In the midst of changes wrought by 
syncretism and social transformation the worship of the 
primitive goddess had survived in comparative purity at 
Sidon, notwithstanding that in one phase she had been 
subjected to Baal. We shall see later that this was not 
an isolated phenomenon. 

There are some curious combinations of divinities in the 
Phoenician inscriptions, such as Melek-Ashtart, Eshmun- 
Ashtart, and Eshmun-Melqart, but as I have pointed out 
elsewhere,^ these are not primitive. They resulted from 
influences which came into force in the West after contact 
with Persians and Greeks. 

We learn from Old Testament denunciations of Baalized* 
Yahwe worship that Baal was worshipped on hill-tops, under 
green trees, in spots marked by 'asheras, massebas, and 
hammanim. Images were not always present, but when 
there was a shrine the god was often represented by the 
image of a bull. At his altars offerings of firstfruits and 
firstlings were made ; and beside them fornication was not 
only licensed, but consecrated. The god had priests who 
leaped upon the altar and gashed themselves with knives, 
and also a retinue of prophets. Of the connection of all 
this with the worship of Yahwe we shall speak in a future 
chapter. Similar organizations of the Baal cult existed 
elsewhere. A fragmentary inscription attests a similar 

1 Cf. CIS., Pt. I, Vol. I, No. 3 ; Bevue archeologique, July, 1887, p. 2 ; 
and Hebraica, Vol. X, p. 29. 

2 2 Kgs. 2313. 

» In an article entitled " West Semitic Deities with Compound Namea " 
in JBL., Vol. XX, pp. 22-27. 
'Hos.2512. 



152 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



organization in Cyprus.^ Among the Edomites the god 
seems to have been called Edom,^ and from his high place' 
it seems that his worship was kindred to that of the Baalim. 
Both he and the god Gad, for whom the tribe of Gad was 
named,* probably at the bottom were Baalim, which orig- 
inated like the others from the mother goddess. 

The conditions in the north of Syria were not strikingly 
dissimilar to those which prevailed in Phoenicia and Ca- 
naan. The chief god of this region was called Hadad, 
though other gods were not unknown.^ From the general 
principles thus far established we should expect the origin 
of Hadad to be not unlike that of a Baal. For reasons 
which will appear as we proceed it will be better to post- 
pone the discussion of this great Aramaean god until we 
have passed in review the gods of Babylonia and Assyria. 
The problems of these countries are, however, so complex 
that they merit a chapter to themselves. 

1 CIS^Tt. I, Vol. I, No. 86. 
« Cf. W. R. Smith, Sel. of Sem., 2d ed., p. 42. 

» Cf. Robinson's article, " The High Place at Petra," in Biblical World, 
Vol. XVI, p. 66. 

* Cf. Oriental Studies of the Oriental Club of Philadelphia, p. 108. 

* See the Berlin Museum's Mittheilungen aus dem orientalische Samm- 
Ittngen, Heft XI, p. 83. 



CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE 



163 



CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE 



Babylonian Chkonoloot 

B.C. 

E. A. Hoffman tablet and Father 

Scheirs archaic texts, cir. 6000- 

5500. 
Blau monuments, cir. 5500-5000. 
En-shag-kush-an-na, king of Kengi, 

before 4500. 
Urkagina, king of Shirpurla, cir. 

4500. 
Ur-Nina, king of Shirpurla, cir. 4300. 
Eannadu I, king of Shirpurla, cir. 

4150. 
Entemena, Patesi of Shirpurla, cir. 

4125. 
Eannadu II, Patesi of Shirpurla, cir. 

4100. 
Lugalzaggisi of Gishban and Erech, 

cir. 4000. 
Lugaltarsi, king of Kish, cir. 3900. 
Manishtuirba, king of Kish, cir. 3850. 
Alu-usharshid, king of Kish, cir.3830. 
Sargon, king of Agade, cir. 3800. 
Naran-Sin, king of Agade, cir. 3750. 
Ur-Bau, Patesi of Shirpurla, cir. 3200. 
Gudea, Patesi of Shirpurla, cir. 3000. 
Dynasties of Ur, Erech, Isin, and 

Larsa, 3000-2400. 
Ur-Gur, king of Ur, cir. 2500. 
Dungi, king of Ur, cir. 2450. 
First dynasty of Babylon, 2399-2094. 
Khammurabi, king of Babylon, 2287- 

22.32. 
Second dynasty of Babylon, 2094- 

cir. 1730. 
Third dynasty of Babylon, cir. 1730- 

1150. 
Agum-kak-rimi, king of Babylon, 

cir. 1700. 
Kurigalzu II, king of Babylon, cir. 

1300. 



ASSTRIAM ChBONOLOOT 
B.C. 



lahmi-Dagan, Fates! of Assyria, cir. 

1840. 
Shamshi-Kamman, Patesi of Assyria, 

cir. 1820. 



Shalmeneser I, king of Assyria, cir. 
1330-1300. 



154 



SEMITIC ORIGINS 



CHRONOLOGICAL TABl,^— Continued 



Babylonian Chronology 

B.C. 

Nebuchadnezzar I, king of Babylon, 
1140 (founder of Pashi dynasty). 

Nabu-apal-iddin, king of Babylon, 
cir. 880. 



Nabopolasser, king ol Babylon, 625- 
604. 

Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon, 
604-562. 

Nabonidos,, king of Babylon, 555- 
538. 

Cyrus conquered Babylon, 538. 

Babylon under the Persians, 538-331. 

Babylon under Greeks, from 331 
onward. 

Inscription of Antiochus Soter (la- 
test dated cuneiform inscription) 
from between 280-260. 



ASSYEIAN ChkONOLOGT 
B.C. 

Tiglath-pileser I, king of Assyria, 

cir. 1120-1100. 
Assur-nasir-pal, king of Assyria, 885- 

860. 
Shalmeneser II, king of Assyria, 860- 

824. 
Tiglath-pileser III, king of Assyria, 

745-727. 
Sargon, king of Assyria, 722-705. 
Sennacherib, king of Assyria, 705- 

681. 
Esarhaddon, king of Assyria, 681- 

668. 
Assurbanlpal, king of Assyria, 668- 

626. 
Assyria conquered by Babylon, 606. 



CHAPTER V 

TEANSPOEMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 

It is no easy task to apply the principles which have 
been traced in the preceding pages to the phenomena of 
the religion of Babylonia. The civilization of the Meso- 
potamian valley is so old that its beginnings can only be 
conjectured ; our information is so fragmentary concern- 
ing the various periods of which we know something that 
no complete history of the country can yet be written, 
while the problem of its racial and linguistic origins is so 
complicated that it has become the subject of heated con- 
troversy. Notwithstanding all these obstacles, the princi- 
ples of economic and social development can be applied 
with considerable certainty, and by their application much 
light is shed upon some of the complicated problems con- 
nected with the genesis of Babylonian civilization. 

The most ancient civilizations of the old world were 
developed in the great river basins of the Nile, the Tigris- 
Euphrates, the Ganges, and the Yang-tske rivers, where the 
soil was rendered fertile by new material brought down by 
the water.i The civilization of Babylonia was probably 
the oldest of these. In the judgment of most Assyriolo- 
gists we have written inscriptions from Babylonia dating 
from a time as remote as 4500 B.c.,^ and it is probable that 

1 Cf. The International Geography, ed. by Hugh Robert Mill, London, 
1899, p. 436. 

^ The writer holds ■with most Assyriologists that the statement of Nabo- 
nidos {KB., Vol. Ill, Pt. 2, p. 105), that 3200 years elapsed between him 
and Naram-Sin, the son of Sargon, may safely be taken as a working 
hypothesis. Lehmann's acute suggestion in his Zwei Hauptprohleme d. 
altorientalische Chronologie, p. 175 ff. (Leipzig, 1898), that it is a scribal 

155 



156 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



the oldest picture writing is at least a thousand years older 
tlian that, and a previous history of considerable length is 
required for the development of this system of writing. 

The beginnings of agricultural life in these regions can 
only be conjectured. In far-off geologic time the Persian 
Gulf extended far up toward the Mediterranean Sea.* 
The whole valley of Mesopotamia has been gradually 
formed, and in recent geologic time this has been done 
largely by the detritus brought down by the rivers. About 
seventy feet a year^ is added to the land in this way, or a 
mile in seventy years. Both the Tigris and Euphrates have 
annual periods of overflow on account of the melting of 
the snow in the mountains of Armenia near their sources. 
The Tigris begins to rise about the first of March, and the 
Euphrates the middle of March ; the water of the former 
is at its height in May and recedes in June or July, while 
that of the latter rises till June, and not till September 
has receded to its ordinary proportions.^ The soil has thus 
been formed of rich materials, and the retreating flood 
leaves it each year pulverized and well manured. There 
is a considerable rainfall in November and December, and 

error for 2200 is based largely on our Ignorance. Peters (PSBA., Vol. 
VIII, p. 142) suggested that it was a round number, made up of an esti- 
mate of eighty generations of forty years each. George A. Smith (Modern 
Criticism and the Preaching of the Old Testament, p. 91, n.) holds the 
eame view, and by reducing the generation to thirty-three years, would 
fix Naram-Sin's date at 3190 b.c. The excavations now going on in the 
East may falsify Lehmann's view any day. It will be time enough to 
reduce Nabo-nidos's statement when more of the mounds have been forced 
to relinquish their secrets, and it has been demonstrated that the ?aps in 
our present knowledge cannot be filled. Cf. Rogers, History of Babylonia 
and Assyria, p. 318 ff. If the oldest historical inscription is 4500 b c, the 
Blau Monuments must date from at least 5000 B.C., and probably as early 
as 5500 B.C. The E. A. Hoffman tablet and Father Schiel's would then 
seem to be as old as 6000 b.c, 

1 See the map in Geology, Chemical, Physical, and Stratigraphical, by 
Joseph Prestwich, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1886-8. 

^ International Geography, p. 447. 

' Rawlinson's Ancient Monarchies, Vol. I, p. 12, and Jastrow's Seli- 
gion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 29. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 157 

then only occasional showers till May. Wheat and barley, 
which were indigenous to this region, were probably culti- 
vated first on the outskirts of the inundation, where the 
soil had been naturally prepared for it. The rainy season 
comes on just in time to give the grain a start after the 
river floods have passed, and in the spring the harvest 
occurs before the water attains its height. Here the 
natural conditions combine to make agriculture easy, and 
here there was in consequence developed one of the oldest, 
if not the very oldest, agricultural communities of which 
there is any record. Payne holds ^ that agriculture is 
usually developed before a tribe is settled in the most 
favorable position for husbandry, and that when they have 
outgrown the resources of the spot where they became 
agricultural they migrate to a more favorable environment, 
where an opportunity is afforded to attain a higher civili- 
zation and enter upon a grander history. It is perhaps 
the case that this is true of the originators of Babylonian 
agriculture, but there have been so many changes in 
Babylonia that we cannot now speak with any certainty 
on this point. No spot more suitable for the beginnings 
of an agricultural life than Babylonia can well be imagined. 
Wheat, barley, and sesame were no doubt the grains first 
cultivated. They are indigenous to the region, and play 
an important role in the many Babylonian contracts and 
revenue lists which have come down to us, both those from 
the dynasties of Ur, about 2500 B.C. ,2 and the numerous 
contracts which come from the eighth to the fifth centuries 

1 Sistory of America, Vol. II, p. 61. 

" For instance of these grains see CTBM., Pt. I, No. Bu. 94-10-15, 4, 
1. 1 ; Pt. II, No. Bu. 91-5-9 2178 A, 1. 1 ; Pt. Ill, No. 18343, Col. I, 1. 1 ; 
No. 16368, obv. 1. 1 ; Pt. IV, No. Bu. 88-5-12, 504, 1. 1 ; Pt. VI, Nos. Bu. 
91-5-9, 476, 1. 1, and 91-5-9, 2421, 1. 1 ; Pt. VII, Nos. 13160, 1. 1 ; 13318, 
1. 1 ; 18376, 1. 1 ; 18395, 1. 1 ; 18.397 passim ; 18403, 1. 1 ; 18409, 1. 1 ; 
18410, 1. 1 ; 18414, 1. 1 ; 18415, 1. 1 ; 18419, 1. 1 ; Pt. IX, Nos. 21386 
passim ; 17748, 1. 1 ; 20007, 1. 1 ; Pt. X, 14-308, rev. Col. VIII, 1. 1 ; 21381, 
rev. 1. 1 ; 18964 passim, etc., the tablets published and translated in 
Radau's Early Babylonian Hixtory, pp. 418-433, also, Reisner's Tempel- 
urkunden aus Telloh, Berlin, 1901, pp. 16, 137. 



158 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



B.c.^ These were always the most abundant grains; they 
figure largely in the payment of taxes (which were often 
paid in kind) and are among the most frequent subjects of 
contract between individuals. Still earlier, in the time of 
Sargon and Naram-Sin (3800-3700 B.C.), Agade was 
noted for its perfect grain, and the grain of Agade was in 
demand at the market of Shirpurla.^ 

Along with these grains there are lists of cattle, sheep, 
asses, horns, hides, etc., which were given in payment of 
taxes to the temples of Shirpurla and Ur.^ Pasturage was 
therefore combined, as we should expect, with agriculture 
in the economic life of ancient Babylonia. The fertile 
valleys which led out from the great valley of the rivers 
were admirably adapted to pasturage. Individual property 
in land must have existed here several thousand years ago. 
Estates were bought, sold, and rented, as the contract tab- 
lets show, as early as 2300 B.C.,* and we have a plot of an 
estate of complicated character and peculiar shape, which 
dates from the fourth millennium before our era.^ An un- 
published archaic tablet in New York, which probably 

1 As an examjile of the evidence from the latter contracts, see the 
numerous citations made to the Nabu-na'id contracts in Tallquist's 
Sprache der Contracte Nahu-na'uls, pp. 130 and 138. 

^ CI Thureau Dangin's Tablettes chaldeennes inedites, Paris, 1897, 
Nos. 13, 1. 1 ; 29, 1. 1; 41, 1. 1 ; 43 passim, and p. 9 ff. 

3 Cf. Thureau Dangin's Tablettes chaldeennes inedites, Nos. 12 : 35, 55, 
rev. 1 and 70; CTBM, Pt. I, No. Bu. 94-10-15, 5, Col. I, 11. 1 and 26, 
rev. Col. II, 1. 1; 94-10-16, 26, rev. Col. II, 1. 6; Pt. V, Nos. 12913 
. passim ; 18993 passim ; 19024 passim ; Pt. VII, Nos. 12938, rev. 1. 13 ; 
12944 pas.sm ,- 1S383 passim ; 18434,1. 11; 11766 passim ; 12939, Col. 
II, 1. 18 ; 12929 passim ; 18382 passim ; Pt. IX, No. 19055 passim ; Pt. 
X, Nos. 19064, rev. passim; 19772 passim, etc., Radau, Early Baby- 
lonian History, pp. 354-409, where several tablets of the same character 
are published and translated, and Reisner's Tempelurkunden aus Telloh, 
pp. 24, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, 33, etc. 

* See the references in Meissner's Altababylonische Privatrecht, pp. 
9-11. 

^ Cf. Oppert's article, "Un cadastre chald^en du quatrigme miWnlum 
avant I'fire chr^tienne" in the Comptes rendiis de V Academie des Inscrip- 
tions et Belle-Lettres, 4 me ser, Vol. XXIV (1896), pp. 331 ff. ; and Thu- 
reau Dangin's in Bevue d'' Assyriologic, Vol. l\', p. 13 ff. 



TKANSFOEMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 159 

dates about 6000 B.C., presents a plot of ground to a temple 
and so proves that individual ownership of land even then 
existed. 

As we have learned in the preceding pages, the structure 
of society in such a community would be in a sense patri- 
archal. Kinship would naturally be reckoned through the 
father, and this would as naturally find reflection in the 
religion by making masculine deities prominent, if not by 
placing masculine deities at the head of the pantheon. 

As we have noted above,i the date-palm was a sacred 
tree in Babylonia, but whether native there or whether 
its culture was imported from Arabia has been a moot 
point among scholars. ^ At present the palm is so abun- 
dant in lower Mesopotamia that it is said that a proper 
coat of arms for the country would be a date-palm. ^ 
Dates were, during the period from which most of our 
contract tablets come, — the period from the eighth to the 
fifth centuries before our era, — a staple article of diet 
and of commerce.* We have not as yet so much evidence 
of their commercial use at an earlier period, but they are 
mentioned several times in the revenue lists of Gamil-Sin, 
Bur-Sin, and other kings of the second dynasty of Ur.* 
An interesting tablet from Telloh, dating from the time 
of Naram-Sin (about 3750 B.C.), informs us that twenty- 
six and one-half shekels of " dates of Agade " were re- 
ceived at the city of Shirpurla.® It follows that dates 
were cultivated at Agade in the first half of the fourth 
millennium B.C. which had a sufficient reputation to be 

1 P. 90 ff. 

2 See the opinions cited above, Chapter II, p. 75, n. 4. 
' Cf . Zwemer's Arabia, the Cradle of Islam, p. 121 . 

* For examples of the abundant references in the contracts of this 
period, cf. Tallquist's Sprache der Contracte Nahit-naHds, p. 111. 

6 Cf. CTBM., Pt. Ill, No. 18958, rev. 11. 18, 22; Pt. VII, No. 17765 
passim; Pt. IX, Nos. 17748, Col. II, 11. 10, 13; 19054 possir/i. Palm 
tree wood is also mentioned, Pt. VII, No. 18.390, 1. 1. 

* Cf. Thureau Dangin's Tablettes chaldeennes inedites, No. 48, Col. II, 
1. 4, and also p. 9. 



160 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



distinguished from the dates of other places. That dates 
were highly regarded at Shirpurla is further proven by 
the fact that Entemena Patesi of that city, who lived 
about 4100 B.C., built a house for the storage of dates, — 
a fact of sufficient importance to be mentioned among his 
titles to fame.^ That the palm was known long before 
that in Babylonia is made probable by the presence of 
a sign in Babylonian writing, which is perhaps derived 
from the palm tree, and which occurs as early as the 
inscription of Lugalzaggisi, about 4000 B.C., in a very 
primitive form.^ It has the values sagr=damaqu = "to 
favor," and ^m»imar="palm tree." Delitzsch holds ^ 
that the sign is composed of three elements, one meaning 
"favor," one "people," and one "open" or "bestow"; 
and that because of its great usefulness the palm was 
designated " (the tree which) is full of favor to men." 
Ball on the other hand considers * that the sign is derived 
from the application of the cone-like instrument borne 
and applied to the tree, by the winged figures in the 
Babylonian and Assyrian sculptures, and that it is there- 
fore a picture of the fertilization of the date-palm. In 
this case the idea of "favor" (sag') would become con- 
nected with the sign on account of the peculiarly useful 
function which the palm performed in ancient Babylonian 
life. The older texts give the sign in a form which favors 
Delitzsch's explanation rather than Ball's. This harmo- 
nizes also better with other considerations concerning the 
culture of the palm in Babylonia which we will now 

1 Of. GTBM., Pt. X, No. 86900, 1. 14. The line reads E-TUR-RA KA- 
LUM-MA MU-NA-RU, "A house for the accumulation (literally 'abyss,' 
Briinnow's List, No. 10220) of dates he built." Cf. also Rev. d'Asst/r., 
Vol. II, 148, 149 ; De Sarzeo's Decouvertes, pi. 5, bis No. 1, a ; and Radau, 
op. cit., p. 113, for a similar expression. 

2 Cf. OBI., No. 87, Col. Ill, 11. 30, 32, and Thureau Dangin's Becher- 
ches sur Vorigine Vecriture cnneiforme, No. 137. For the later form 
and meanings, cf. Briinnow's List, p. 305. 

3 Entstehung der altesten Schriftsystems, oder der Ursprung der Keil- 
schriftzeichen, Leipzig, 1897, pp. 144, 145. 

* Of. FSB A., Vol. XVI, p. 193. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 161 

adduce. We accept the fact of the presence of the palm 
and the use of the date at the period of Sargon and Naram- 
Sin, but the fact should be noted that the use of the date 
and the culture of the palm does not seem to have been 
general at that time. Of course the fact that the dates 
of Agade are especially mentioned does not prove that 
the date was not cultivated elsewhere ; it does, however, 
prove that it was especially cultivated at Agade, whose 
kings are among the earliest kings to write in Semitic. 
The fact that a king of Shirpurla built a house for the 
accumulation of dates, somewhat as another built one for 
the storage of cedar ,^ — a wood of foreign origin which 
had to be brought from afar, — gives some ground for the 
supposition that the fertilization of the date-palm so as to 
make it produce more abundantly was a comparatively 
new introduction into Babylonia, and perhaps not gen- 
erally adopted.^ It is probable, as Hehn and Fischer con- 
tend, that in prehistoric time the date-palm extended from 
the Canaries to the Penjab,^ and its presence in Babylonia 
in about 6000 B.C., is attested by its occurrence as a picto- 
graph in an unpublished text in the E. A. Hoffman collec- 
tion in New York, translated below, p. 213, n. 5, but it by no 
means follows that the artificial fertilization of it would be- 
come everywhere known at an equally early date.* Indeed, 

1 Cf. an inscription of Eannadu (Eannatum'), published by Thureau 
Dangin in Comptes rendus de VAcademie des Inscriptions, 1899, p. 348, 
PI. II, Col. ii ; also the translation in Radau's Early Babylonian History, 
p. 72 ff. 

2 As we shall see below, it does not follow that artificial fertilization 
of the date-palm was introduced at Agade in the time of Sargon into 
Babylonia for the first time, but only that a strong wave of Semitic in- 
fluence and Semitic culture helped the date culture of Agade at that time 
to reach a point of preeminence over that of other places. 

8 See Hehn's Culturpflanzen und Hausthif.re, 6th ed., p. 273; and 
Fischer in Petermann's Mittheilungen, Ergangungsband XIV, No. 64, 
p. 11. 

* The fertilization of the palm in Mesopotamia is still performed by 
hand. The tree is climbed and the pollen sprinkled over the flowers. 
See Zwemer's Arabia, the Cradle of Islam, p. 123. 



162 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



we should expect that, in an agricultural country like Baby- 
lonia, where grain was indigenous and easily cultivated, 
that the development of agriculture would remove the 
spur of necessity which in Arabia compelled men to re- 
sort to artificial fertilization of the date-palm to support 
life. This view is confirmed by a contract of the fifth 
century B.C., which shows that the process of getting a 
date orchard started in Babylonia was so expensive that 
a man was willing to forego the rent of the land for sixty 
years for the sake of having it done.^ These general con- 
siderations lead us to believe that the process of fertilizing 
the date-palm was introduced by the Semites from Arabia, 
and that Arabian or Semitic civilization was characterized 
by the influences of the date-palm culture, as the earliest 
civilization of Babylonia was characterized by the more 
ordinary agricultural pursuits. This conclusion involves 
the consideration of some knotty problems to which we 
must soon proceed, and it will be found, when these are 
considered, that several other considerations will confirm 
the point of view here taken. 

In such an agricultural country villages grow up in 
protected centres where fortification is possible and where 
it is accordingly possible to protect the growing crops 
from the forays of more barbarous tribes. This was the 
case in Mexico and Peru,^ in Egpyt, and was also no 
doubt the origin of the Babylonian cities.^ These cities 
were in the first instance the residence of fellow-tribes- 
men and were built around the temple of their divinity 
of fertility. All this in the development of Babylonia 
lies in the prehistoric period. In that period, however, 
Nippur, Eridu, Ur, Shirpurla, Kutha, Erech, Agade, and 
other cities had sprung into existence. Before the dawn 

' Cf. Hilprecht and Clay's Business Documents of MurashS. Sons of 
Nippur, No. 48. Cf. ibid., p. 36 ff., and Assyrian and Babylonian Liter- 
ature, N. Y., Appleton, 1901, p. 260 fe. 

^ Cf . Payne's History of America, Vol. II, p. 47. 

' See Winckler's Altorientalische Forsclmngen, Heft III, p. 232 ff. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 163 

of OUT present historical knowledge, about 4500 B.C., the 
struggle between these cities for supremacy had not only- 
been begun, but had been waged with such varying for- 
tunes that now one city had been supreme in power over 
the others for a century or two, and now another. This 
struggle, with its varied results, — Shirpurla being in 
possession of empire for a time, then Erech, then Agade, 
then Erech, Ur, Isin, Ur, and Larsa in succession, — con- 
tinued until terminated by the final supremacy of Babylon, 
about 2300 b.c.^ As will appear from arguments to be 
adduced later, Nippur must have held the supremacy for 
a long time during the prehistoric period. The political 
combinations which resulted produced religious syncretism. 
The city which was fortunate enough to win the leader- 
ship for a few centuries would gain a high position for 
its god in the minds of the inhabitants of the subjugated 
cities, and the city which was sufficiently fortunate to 
gain the supremacy first and to hold it for a long period 
would win for its god the distinction of being the head 
of the pantheon. That Nippur first held such empire the 
position of its god Enlil (Bel) indisputably proves, and a 
few fragments of archaic inscriptions attest.^ The gods 
and goddesses of the other cities were grouped around 
him as sons and daughters or in some other subordinate 
position.3 Enlil, who held this position for two thousand 
years, from the dawn of history to the rise of Babylon, 
was finally displaced by Marduk, the god of the latter 
city. How long in prehistoric time this process had 
been going on we can only estimate. Our task is ren- 

1 On this period of Babylonian history cf . Meyer, Geschichte des Alter- 
thiims, Vol. I, 1884 ; Tiele, Bahylonische-assyrisch Geschichte, 1886-8 ; 
Murdter-Delitzsch, Geschichte Babyloniens und Assyriens, 2d. ed., 1891 ; 
Winokler, Geschichte Babyloniens und Assyriens; MoCurdy, History, 
Prophecy, and the Monuments, 1894 ; Rogers, Outlines of the History of 
Early Babylonia, 1895 ; Radau, Early Babylonian History, 1900 ; and 
Rogers, History of Babylonia and Assyria, Bk. II. 

2 Cf. OBI., Nos. 90-92, 94, 96, and 111 ; also PI. XVI. 

8 Cf. Jastrow's Beligion of Babylonia and Assyria, chs. iii-vi. 



164 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



dered difficult by the fact that the beginnings which 
we are seeking are not onl}^, as in other cases, shrouded 
in prehistoric darkness, but that the traces of them 
which can for the most part be detected in other parts 
of the Semitic world were here very largely swept 
away before the dawn of history by political and re- 
ligious syncretism. 

The difficulty of the problem is increased by the linguis- 
tic and paleographic phenomena. As is well known, the 
cuneiform inscriptions contain what most scholars regard 
as two distinct languages, the Sumerian and the Semitic 
Babylonian. It is generally held that the Sumerians 
invented the cuneiform system of writing. Halevy first, 
in 1874,1 and with much persistence in several publica- 
tions since,^ has maintained that the so-called Sumerian 
was only an allographic way of writing Semitic, and that 
the Semites invented the cuneiform system of writing. 
Guyard,^ McCurdy,* Price,^ Jeremias,® and Thureau Dan- 
gin^ have come over to his theory, and though Delitzsch 
had in 1889,8 i^ i896,9 and 1897,1° he had returned to 
his former Sumerian point of view. The Sumerian theory 
is based on the fact that there exist bilingual syllabaries 

1 See Journal asiatique, 7th ser., Vol. Ill, p. 461 fi. 

2 For a list of them cf. Weissbach's Sumerische Frage, Leipzig, 1898, 
p. 25 ff. Halgvy's most complete grammatical statement of his point of 
view is in Actes du sixieme Congres International des Orientalistes, Pts. 
I and II, pp. 535-568. His latest statement is contained in a series of 
articles in the Revue semitique for 1900. 

' Cf. Bevue critique, nouv. ser., Vol. IX (1880), p. 425 ff ; and Sevue 
de Vhistoire des religions, Vol. V, pp. 252-278. 

* Cf. Presbyterian and Beformed Beview, Vol. II, 1891, p. 58 ff.; and 
History, Prophecy, and the Monuments, Vol. I, pp. 87-95. 

5 Ct. " Accadians," in Hastings's Dictionary of the Bible. 

^ Cf. Chantepie de la Saussaye's Lehrbuch der Beligionsgeschichte, 
Vol. I, p. 165 ff. 

' Cf. Bevue d^assyriologie. Vol. IV, p. 73 fl. ; Tablettes chaldeennes 
inedites, pp. 1-18. 

' Cf. his Assyrian Grammar, pp. 61-71. 

° Cf. his Assyrisches Handworterbuch, passim. 

1° Cf. his Entstehung des ixUesten Schriftsystems, passim. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 165 

and word lists,^ bilingual hymns and prayers,^ bilingual 
inscriptions of kings,^ besides many unilingual inscriptions 
in both languages.* The language of the portion of these 
documents, called Sumerian, is held by most Assyriologists 
as conclusive evidence of the existence of a non-Semitic 
people, who gave birth to the language and invented the 
script. Hal^vy contends that this was only a priestly 
method of writing so that the uninitiated should not be 
able to read it, that the syllabic values are all of Semitic 
derivation,^ and that the Babylonian syllabary is perfectly 
adapted to express the sounds of a Semitic language. 
Delitzsch held, in 1889,^ that 106 signs were demonstrably 
of Semitic derivation. To this number McCurdy has 
added about forty more.^ The scholars of this school 
also urge, that the fact that the Semitic inscriptions occur 
side by side with the Sumerian back to 3800 B.C., together 
with the fact that no Sumerians are mentioned in the his- 
torical inscriptions, as the Elamites, Kossseans, etc., are, 
is evidence that no such people existed. 

The arguments of these scholars are persuasive, but not 
quite convincing. We may grant the force of the fact, 
that such texts as the prayer of Samassumukin ^ is in- 
fluenced by Semitic idiom, and that a number of Semitic 

1 See for example those published in II R., and in CTBM., Pts. XI 
and XII. 

2 See those published in IV R., and in Haupt's^^SJETT'., and by Reisner 
in the Mittheilungen of the Berlin Museum, Heft X. Cf. also Zimmern's 
Bnhylonische jBusspsalmen. 

3 As, for example, that of Khammurabi. Cf. KB., Vol. IIP, p. 110 ff. 

* The many royal annals of the Assyrian kings {KB., Vols. I and II) 
may be cited as Semitic examples, while those of the kings of Shirpurla, 
published in De Sarzec's Decouvertes en Chaldee, are examples of the Su- 
merian. 

' See Part 3 of his "Nouvelles considerations sur le syllabaire cunei- 
forme," Journal asiatique, 7th ser., Vol. VII, p. 201 ff. 

^ Cf. his Asayrinn Orammar, § 25. 

' Cf. Presbyterian and Beformed Eeview, 1891, p. 58 ff. 

' VB., 62, No. 2, and Lehmann's Samassumukin, Tafeln I and II. 
Cf. Ft. II, p. 6 ff. 



166 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



idioms are found in Sumerian texts even back to the oldest 
inscriptions,^ but there are a number of phenomena which 
are not satisfactorily explained by the arguments of the 
Halevy school. No satisfactory Semitic origin has as yet 
been proposed for a considerable number of the oldest and 
most common signs.^ The way in which Semitic words 
have to be torn apart, in order to be expressed in the 
cuneiform script, is hardly consistent with the supposition 
that it was the invention of a Semitic people. The pecul- 
iar verb prefixes and suffixes, the postpositions instead of 
prepositions, and the various phenomena of the Sumerian 
grammar, can by no process of argumentation be made to 
appear the phenomena of a Semitic language, or the prob- 
able invention of a Semitic people. There are not want- 
ing, morever, in the bilingual texts instances in which the 
Semitic idiom is so peculiarly modified that no explana- 
tion of it seems adequate, except that it has resulted from 
the influence of the idiom of the foreign language, of 
which it is a translation.^ When we reflect, too, that 
most of the oldest inscriptions are written in what Halevy 
calls the allographic, or hieratic form, we are not only 
confronted with the difficulty, to which Radau has called 
attention* (viz., that the existence of this double form of 
writing, as early as 3800 B.C., presupposes an incredibly 
long anterior cultural development), but are compelled to 

1 Cf. Hilprecht, OBI., Pt. II, p. 55 ; and Eadau, Early Babylonian 
History, pp. 145-147. 

2 The value an, for example, can hardly have originated, as Delitzsoh 
{Grammar, p. 65) would have it, from a Semitic source. Nor can the 
following be assigned to a Semitic origin : ud (utu), us, sal, sm, pi, du, 
ha, ur, kur, gir, bu, and many others. In general, the signs which were 
originally pictographs have values which cannot he explained on a Se- 
mitic basis. Cf . my Studies in the Origin and Development of the Cunei- 
form Syllabary, in preparation. 

^ Such, for example, is the phrase, i-sap-pu-ru-su-nu = "they cry out " 
(IV R., 1, Col. I., 1. 15), where sM-raJt is, contrary to Assyrian idiom, 
the subject of i-sap-pu-ru. It is a literal translation of the Sumerian 
O TJ-BAL-BAL-A-MES, which stands in the preceding line. 

■* Early Babylonian History, p. 148. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 167 

suppose, that such kings as Eannadu and Lugalzaggisi, 
who wrote inscriptions to perpetuate their fame, chose to 
have them written in a form which only a few could under- 
stand. One can hardly believe, as hp would thus be com- / jv-»- 
pelled to do, that the French bon mot, that language was 
invented to conceal thought, was thus anticipated by these 
kings at the very dawn of history. 

Radau's view ^ is the one which my own studies had led 
me to adopt, viz., that the Sumerians were the pre- 
Semitic inhabitants of Babylonia, that they invented the 
cuneiform system of writing, but that the Semites had 
entered Babylonia and conquered them before the dawn 
of history. The situation with which we are confronted 
in early Babylonia is not altogether unlike that which 
existed in Palestine in the period from which the El- 
Amarna tablets come. In the latter country the Canaan- 
ites had their own language, but had as yet no method of 
writing it. The Babylonians had long dominated the 
country, and their system of writing was well known. 
To express themselves in written form, therefore, the 
Canaanites had recourse to the Babylonian language and 
script, though the Babylonians as a power in Palestine 
had ceased to be for so long a time that no reference is 
made to them in the El-Amarna, Palestinian letters. In 
thus using Babylonian the Canaanites mingled their own 
idioms with those of the foreign tongue.^ Similarly, 
at the dawn of history the Semites had broken the 
Sumerian power so long before that we find no mention 
of the Sumerians in the inscriptions of Babylonia, though 
to express themselves in writing the Semites were at first 
compelled to resort to the Sumerian language and script. 
In using these, however, they, like the Canaanites, mingled 
their own idioms.^ In some important respects there is 

1 Ibid., p. 149. 

2 For examples see my article " A Peculiar Use of TlSni in the Tablets 
from El-Amarna" in PAOS., 1892, p. cxcvi ff., especially p. ccxix. 

" See the references given above, p. 166, n. 1. 



168 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



no parallel between Babylonia and the Palestine of the 
period cited. For example, in Babylonia the Semites who 
did the borrowing were the invaders, while in Palestine 
the invaders were the people who furnished the script; 
but the analogy holds for the important point to which 
we have applied it, and helps us to understand the silence 
of the inscriptions with reference to the Sumerians.^ 

The linguistic may be reenforced by other considera- 
tions. While there are few elements of the Babylonian 
religion which cannot be explained as Semitic, if one may 
be permitted to draw analogies from agricultural Semites 
outside of Arabia, yet there are some features which can- 
not be so explained. For example, the early kings of 
Babylonia were frequently deified. Even in their lifetime 
their names were written with the determinative for deity 
before them. Naram-Sin calls himself "god of Agade," 
and votive inscriptions are offered to other kings as gods ; * 
while Gudea provided that certain sacrifices should be 
offered, apparently to his statue, which was erected in the 
temple of Ningirsu.^ Radau has tried to trace the growth 
of this custom,* and finds it incipient in the inscription 
of Lugalzaggisi, full grown in those of Sargon of Agade, 

1 The arguments for the existence of the Sumerian language are forci- 
bly stated from the older point of view in Haupt's Die sumerischen 
Familiengesetze, 1879 ; "XJeber einen Dialekt der sumerischen Sprache," 
in Nachrichten d. K. Gesell. d. Wiss. zu Gottingen, 1880, pp. 513-542 ; 
and ASKT., pp. 134-220 ; Sohrader's " Zur Frage naoh dem Ursprung der 
habylonisohen Kultur" in ZDMG., Vol. XXIX (1876), pp. 1-52; and 
Tiele's Geschichte, Vol. I, p. 68 ff. For more recent statements of the 
argument see Lehmann's SamaUumukin, Ft. I, pp. 57 ff., 107 ff., and 
Weissbach's Sumerische Frage, p. 150 ff. The view of the problem 
taken in the text supposes that the Semites began to use the cuneiform 
system of writing at a time so early that they exercised a large influence 
on its later development. Thus the fact that the syllabary contains a 
sign for Aleph and for other derivatives from sources demonstrably 
Semitic is fully accounted for. 

2 Cf. Radau, Early Babylonian History, pp. 164-166, 240, n. 1, 247, 
250, 251, and 308 ff. 

«Cf. KB., Vol. IIP, p. 27. 
* Op. cit., p. 308 ff. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 169 

and most flourishing in those of Naram-Sin, though it 
persisted long afterward, as, for example, in the inscrip- 
tions of the second dynasty of Ur. On the basis of these 
facts he builds the theory that it was a point of view 
characteristic of the Semites, and that Sargon, represent- 
ing a Semitic migration from Arabia, had revived a 
Semitic custom. ^ To argue thus is to erect a pyramid on 
its apex. There is no Semitic analogy elsewhere for the 
deification of kings, either during their lifetime or after- 
ward. All we know of the culture of Arabia affords no 
basis whatever for the view that such a custom could 
originate there. The simple life of the desert and the 
oasis threw men too closely together for even a sheik to 
become a god to his fellow-clansmen. If there is a reli- 
gious idea which we can pronounce absolutely un-Semitic 
it is this. Thureau Dangin seems to recognize this when 
he suggests that Egyptian influence led to the deification 
of themselves on the part of Babylonian kings. ^ As the 
empire of Naram-Sin extended to Palestine, he thinks con- 
tact with Egypt may have occurred in a way to account 
for the introduction of this practice. Such influence is 
not intrinsically probable, and if it were, one wonders 
why in later ages, under Kallima-Sin, Burnaburiash, Esar- 
haddon, Assurbanipal, and Nebuchadnezzar, when contact 
with Egypt was close and prolonged, no such consequence 
of Egyptian influence resulted. In fact, such influence is 
inadequate to explain the phenomenon. It must have 
been an influence local, intimate, and prolonged, an influ- 
ence from a non-Semitic source, but which after a few 
centuries failed to be felt. It is just such an influence as 
the Sumerian must have been. Radau seems to think 
that because it first manifests itself fully at Agade that it 
cannot be Sumerian,^ but do we know enough of the 
habitat of these prehistoric people to be sure of this? I 

J Op. cit., p. 310. 

" Cf. Eeceuil de traveaux. Vol. XIX, p. 187. 

» Op. cit., p. 309. 



170 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



think not. Moreover, evidence will be adduced below to 
show that the Sumerian power was dominant in the North 
rather than in the South. The presence of a non-Semitic 
race in ancient Babylonia is further indicated by the faces 
pictured on the votive tablet of Ur-Enlil at Nippur. ^ 
Professor Cope recognized in these peculiar faces the 
Semitic nose, but a jaw which he regarded as Aryan. ^ 
He thus bears witness to the existence of a hybrid popu- 
lation in this region at the dawn of history. The Blau 
Monuments, which are still older, bear witness, as Ward 
has pointed out, to the presence of two races in Babylonia.^ 
This is all we desire. We must confess that the Mon- 
golian affinities of the Sumerians have never been clearly 
proven. It is enough for our present purpose to show 
that there was a mixture of races in Babylonia at this 
period, and to agree to call the non-Semitic portion Su- 
merian until such time as we can obtain a better name. 

Another feature of the civilization of Babylonia points 
to such a mixture of races. The decimal system of num- 
bers was the native Hamito-Semitic system. Either it or 
the quintal system, based on the fingers of one hand,* is 
universally present among the Hamites and Semites, and 
in Babylonia finally prevailed over the sexigesimal system 
which was used in the earlier inscriptions.^ In Babylonia 
the day and night were divided into six equal parts® — a 

1 OBI., PI. XVI. 

2 Cf. OBI., Pt. II, p. 48, n. 1. 

' See American Journal of Archceology, 1st ser. , Pis. IV and V, and 
p. 40. 

* McGee's argument (American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. I 
[1899], pp. 646-674), although it adduces considerable proof in favor of 
the influence of mythical or superstitious ideas in giving prominence to 
certain numbers, really offers no explanation for the adoption of a quintal 
or decimal system of numbers. The time-honored suggestion vyhich is 
repeated in the text therefore seems valid. 

5 Cf. the article "Number" in Encyc. Bib., by the writer. 

^ See the interesting astronomical report published in III R., 51, which 
was made at the time of a vernal equinox. It reads: "3d day of the 
month Nisan ; the day and the night were equal. 6 Kasbu was the day ; 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 171 

measurement which, as Ihering has pointed out, cannot 
have originated with a people who knew the decimal sys- 
tem.^ We cannot go astray, therefore, in attributing the 
invention of this system of numbers to the Sumerians who 
invented also the cuneiform system of writing. 

As we find in Babylonia convincing proof of the exist- 
ence before the coming of the Semites of a non-Semitic 
people who possessed a high degree of civilization, and 
from whom the Semites borrowed the elements of their 
system of writing, we have next to inquire whether there 
is any test which we can apply to Babylonian religious 
institutions which will enable us in any degree to distin- 
guish its Semitic from its Sumerian elements. "We have 
seen that the characteristic elements of primitive Semitic 
religion are those produced in the desert and by the oasis 
culture of the date-palm. There the feminine element of 
society held a most important place, and in the religion it 
was deified. In Babylonia, on the other hand, the eco- 
nomic conditions were such that agriculture flourished 
from time immemorial. A fertile and almost inexhaus- 
tible soil yielded its riches to the husbandman. The date- 
palm grew wild, and no doubt the fruit which it happened 
to yield was gladly used ; but in all probability it was so 
easy to raise grains that the pressure which compelled the 
Semite in Arabia to cultivate the date-palm was lacking 
in Babylonia. Fischer is probably right in claiming that 
its culture, in the proper sense of that term, was intro- 
duced from Arabia.^ In such a fertile environment every 
man can obtain enough to support a wife, especially as in 
early communities the woman performs much of the labor. 
Monogamy is in such communities the rule for the com- 
mon people, while polygamy is practised by the rich, of 
whom such a community soon produces a considerable 

6 Kasbn was the night. May Nahu and Marduk to the king my lord be 
gracious ! " 

1 See Ihering's Evolution of the Aryan, p. 121 ff. 

" Cf. Petermann's Mittheilungen, Erganzungsband, XIV, No. 64, p. 11. 



172 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



number. 1 If now we can determine what kind of a reli- 
gion the civilization of such a country would produce, 
some light will be thrown upon our problem. 

In search of an analogy which will supply our needed 
clew, we may most profitably turn to the civilizations of 
ancient Mexico and Peru, — two countries quite isolated 
from the civilizations of the Eastern hemisphere and from 
each other, but both of which produced civilizations and 
religions of a high degree of organization. ^ 

Mexico consists of an elevated tableland, the surface of 
which is covered with lava discharged from its volcanic 
mountains, and of detritus which the storms of countless 
centuries have washed down from its lofty ranges and 
peaks. For the most part it has few rivers, but the region 
around the city of Mexico is well watered and contains 
many lakes. ^ The water supply and the subtropical cli- 
mate in this part make agriculture easy. Here the an- 
cient Mexican tribes developed their civilization. In its 
completed form it was of a mixed character with Aztec 
elements in the ascendency ; but in its earlier phases 
simple agricultural communities, especially devoted to the 
worship of their earth goddesses, or, as they often re- 
garded them, maize goddesses, formed the earliest nuclei.* 
These earth goddesses were, as Payne ^ has pointed out, 
especially connected in their development with agricul- 
ture. They were the original deities of the Totoncas, the 
Otomi, and the Toltecs; and also of the Aztecs in tbeir 



1 Cf. Payne's History of America, Vol. II, pp. 13, 15. 

2 We cannot seek the analogy which we desire in Egypt because, as 
we have seen, the religion of Egypt has back of it some elements of the 
oasis civilization. Nor can we turn to India, China, or Japan with any 
success because there the primitive agricultural religious product has lung 
been displaced by more philosophical systems, or tortured by them into 
unrecognizable forms. 

' T%e, International Geography, p. 776. 

*■ Cf. Payne's History of America, Vol. I, pp. 462, 516, 520, and VoL 
U, p. 480. 

^Cf. Payne, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 518. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 173 

primitive northern home before they migrated to the South 
and became conquerors. -"^ 

The civilization resulting from this Aztec conquest was 
in many respects quite advanced. Property was organ- 
ized for the nobles on a hereditary basis, and for the com- 
mon people on a communal basis. Taxes were raised in 
kind, as was the case in good degree in Babylonia. 

Slaves, as in the latter country, did the laborious work. 
Unlike the Babylonians, the Mexicans had no beasts of 
burden and did not know the use of iron ; only gold, silver, 
copper, and stone. ^ There were good markets and abun- 
dance of wealth. In the cities associations of merchants 
exercised great political influence. As in Babylonia, 
polygamy was practised by the rich and by kings. The 
Aztec emperor is said to have had a thousand wives. ^ 

In certain respects the resulting Aztec religion resem- 
bled the Babylonian. The assimilation of conquered 
tribes with the conquerors created religious syncretism, 
and led to the formation of a pantheon. The form of 
their temple, though much broader, bears considerable 
resemblance to a Babylonian ziggurat.* The Aztecs, too, 
like the Semites, thought that sacrifice united the wor- 
shipper to his god.^ At the time when Europeans came 
into contact with the Aztecs, tribe had conquered tribe 
till much religious syncretism had resulted, a pantheon 
had been organized, and as in Babylonia the functions of 
the various gods had been much specialized. The heads 

iCf. Payne, ibid., p. 520. For the Otomi, of. Payne, op. cit., Vol. II, 
p. 454 flf. 

^ Cf. The native Beligions of Mexico and Peru, Hibbert Lectures, 
18H4, by Albert RSville, 2d ed., London, 1895, pp. 32, 33. 

8 Mexico, Aztec, Spanish, and Bepublican, by Brantz Mayer, Hart- 
ford, 1853, Vol. I, p. 36. 

* Cf. The History of Mexico and its Wars, by John Frost, New Or- 
leans, 1882, Vol. II, p. 40; Brantz Mayer, op. cit.. Vol. I, p. 37, and 
Perrot and Chipiez, Histoire de Vart en Chaldee et Assyrie, Vol. II, p. 
408 ff. 

s Cf. Rgville, op. cit., p. 89, and W. R. Smith's Beligion of the Semites, 
Lect., VI-IX. 



174 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



of the pantheon were identified with the sun and moon, 
and were called grandfather and grandmother, i These 
were in theory the chief deities, but in practice those were 
worshipped more which stood nearer the interests of every- 
day life.^ There was a wind god, usually pictured under 
the form of a serpent,^ a form which had survived from a 
previous condition of totemism. Tlaloc was the god of 
rain — the god of fecundity to whom many children were 
sacrificed.* Tlazolteotl was the goddess of love and 
sensuality. Originally the wife of Tlaloc, the rain god, 
the sun had stolen her away.^ Centeotl was the goddess 
of the maize ; she had a son who bore the same name as 
herself. She was often represented with this son as a 
child in her arms, and reminded the Spaniards of the Ma- 
donna and the child Jesus. ^ In addition to these princi- 
pal deities they also had little household gods somewhat 
like the Hebrew teraphim.^ 

It will be noted from this brief description that the re- 
sulting Mexican civilization possessed both gods and god- 
desses as did the Babylonian, and that, as in the latter 
country, these were arranged in pairs. The goddesses who 
had survived from the more primitive period were not, 
however, supreme, but were subordinate to the gods. There 
is a story to the effect that Tlazolteotl, the goddess of sen- 
suality, prevailed over the pious hermit Yappan when he 
had resisted all other temptations,^ as Ukhat prevailed 
over Eabani;^ but Tlazolteotl was herself subject to her 
divine husband, and was not supreme as was Ishtar. 

The conception of the relation between gods and god- 
desses is reflected in the procedure connected with their 
great annual human sacrifice. The man chosen for this 
sacrifice was treated for a year previous to its occurrence 

iRSville, op. cit., p. 35. ^Rgville, op. at., p. 75. 

2 Rgville, op. cit, p. 68. « Rfeville, ihUl, p. 73. 

" Cf. Rfiville, op. cit, pp. 38, 68. ' Rgville, ibid., p. 77. 

* RSville, op. cit., p. 71. 8 RgyiUe, md., p. 76. 

" See above, p. 83. 



TKANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 175 

with divine honors. For at least a month before the sacri- 
fice took place four beautiful girls were given him to share 
his bed, and he passed his time in dalliance with these 
until the day of the sacrifice came around. ^ It thus ap- 
pears that the chief deity to whom this sacrifice was offered 
was conceived as a polygamous god, the possessor of a 
harem of goddesses. 

The story of the seduction of Yappan bears, therefore, 
only a superficial resemblance to the story of Eabani. 
There is no trace among the Aztecs of a general worship 
of deified polyandry or unwedded love as among the Sem- 
ites. The deep impress which the Ishtar cult left upon 
Semitic religious life has no parallel among the Aztecs. 
Their culture was the product of agriculture and conquest 
and not the culture of the oasis. Men had long been the 
head of the family, and gods were at the head of their pan- 
theon. The feminine element entered into their religious, 
as into their social life under the conceptions of a polyg- 
amous, and not of a polyandrous social order. The god- 
desses may have been, and probably were, supreme in the 
earlier days of the tribal life, but the conditions of the 
country made the agricultural tribes an early prey to 
other clans. Wars and conquests followed, producing 
clans in which the virile elements of manhood were ideal- 
ized, and in which gods soon became supreme. This 
happened so soon that the earth goddesses never gained, 
as in Arabia, where the environment made outside influ- 
ences impossible and the deserts made the oasis type of 
life predominant over everything, a character sufficiently 
permanent to meet the shock of mixture and to survive 
and absorb it. 

In Peru a similar history can be traced. In the basin 
of Lake Titicaca tribes known as the CoUa^ worshipped 

1 Cf. History of the Conquest of Mexico, by William Prescott, Boston, 
1858, Vol. I, p. 79 ; Frost's History of Mexico audits Wars, Vol. I, p. 42 ; and 
Brantz Mayer's Mexico, Aztec, Spanish, and Bepublican, Vol. I, pp. 39, 40. 

2 Cf. Payne's History of America, Vol. I, p. 324. 



176 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



as a mother, some of them the earth, and some the 
lake,^ while the Yuncas or Yuncapata of the Pacific 
coast thus regarded the ocean. ^ The dominant race 
who produced Peruvian civilization, the Amyara and 
Quichua, whose original home seems to have been in the 
mountainous regions of what we call Bolivia and Argen- 
tina, came thither and conquered the country. ^ Like 
some other tribes,* the Incas were, in later times at least, 
worshippers of the sun. They conquered the coast lands 
also, and developed a high degree of civilization. Reli- 
gious syncretism and a pantheon followed. Their social 
order was definitely organized. Their lands were divided 
into the lands of the sun, which supported the temple and 
priesthood, the lands of the Inca, which supported the 
king, and the lands of the people. The latter were divided 
among them per capita.^ The priesthood was highly 
organized and numbered about four thousand.^ The usual 
features of agricultural social life present themselves in 
their organization. The common people were monogamous, 
and were not allowed to marry one from beyond the 
bounds of their own community.'^ The nobles were polyg- 
amous, while the Incas or sovereigns were extravagantly 
polygamous. Honors practically divine were accorded 
the Incas. One of the most striking features of the social 
organization were Homes of the Selected, a kind of nun- 
nery, where several hundred virgins were congregated, 
and their chastity protected by the most stringent regula- 
tions. These were destined to be the Inca's wives, or, if the 
Inca chose, the wives of some of his nobles, or at times for 
sacrifice to the sun. When he for any reason discarded 
one after she had been destined for sacrifice, or after she 

1 Cf. Payne, op. cit-, pp. 503-509. 

2 Cf. Payne, ibid., pp. 376, 502 £f., also Vol. II, p. 555 fl. 
8 Cf. Payne, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 560 ff. 

* Cf. Payne, op. cit.. Vol. I, pp. 560, 561. 

6 Cf . Presoott, Conquest of Peru, Vol. I, pp. 47-50. 

' Presoott, ibid., p. 101. 

' Presoott, ibid., p. 112. 



TRANSFOKMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 177 

had been taken to his palace and had lived with him for a 
time, she returned to her native village.^ Like the Sem- 
ites, they sacrificed only edible animals to their gods,^ 
regarded sacrifice as commensal, and concluded their 
feasts with music and drinking .^ Like the Semites, too, 
they had passed through a totemistic stage of develop- 
ment before they reached the point of civilization which 
has been described.* 

At the time of the Spanish conquest, when Europeans 
came in contact with the empire of the Incas, that race had 
subjugated other tribes, and welded them into a complete 
organization with its resulting pantheon. In this pan- 
theon the sun god stood at the head, with his sister and 
consort, the moon goddess.® Virachoca, a lake or rain 
god, was also worshipped with his sister Choca.® These 
deities were older than the sun deities, as their myths 
show.'' They were survivals from the more primitive 
social organization. Pochacoma, the animater of the 
earth (a kind of Dionysos), also held a conspicuous place. ^ 
Cuycha, the god of the rainbow, and Chasca, a male 
Venus, were also worshipped as attendants of the sun.* 

In the religion of Peru, then, we find a course of develop- 
ment quite similar to that of Mexico. The primitive god- 
desses were retained, but in the religious syncretism of 

1 Prescott, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 109-112 ; E^Yille, op. cit., pp. 204-208 ; 
and Payne, History of America, Vol. I, p. 564 ff. 

2 Rgville, op. cit., p. 219. 
» Prescott, ibid., p. 107. 

* Cf. Prescott, ibid., p. 93 ; ESville, op. cit., p. 198 ; Sistoire des Tncas, 
rois du Peru, par Jean Baudoin, Amsterdam, 1765, pp. 39 ff., 41 ffl. ; and 
Payne's History of America, Vol. I, p. 445 ff. 

6 Rgville, op. cit., pp. 153, 154 ; Prescott, op. cit., p. 93 ; and Baudoin, 
op. cit., p. 80 ff. 

« Note that the extreme practice of endogamy in Peru, similar to that 
of the royal family of Egypt, had projected itself into their conception of 
the gods, so that the celestials also married their sisters. 

' Rgville, ibid., pp. 185-188. 

8 Cf. Prescott, op. cit., p. 91, and Rfiville, op. cit., p. 189 ff. 

» Prescott, ibid., p. 92, and Rgville, ibid., p. 194. 



178 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



the Inca's empire were subordinated even more than in 
Mexico to male deities. This, as in Mexico, was no doubt 
due in part to early conquests of the peoples who 
worshipped the earth as a mother goddess, before that 
worship became so fixed by long practice as to be able to 
withstand, as the Semitic cultus of primitive times did, a 
good proportion of this absorbing power. 

If we turn to the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece, we 
find similar beginnings and a similar result. The various 
waves of races and of conquest which swept over Greece 
finally left its pantheon a mixture, in which the male ele- 
ment predominated. There are not wanting, however, evi- 
dences that at the beginnings of its agricultural life many 
goddesses of mother earth were worshipped. The most 
obvious of these is Demeter, whose name probably meant 
originally " Earth-mother " ; but, as Farnell has shown, 
Artemis was such a goddess among the Greeks of Asia 
Minor, ^ Hecate in jEgina,^ and Athena at one time at 
Athens.* In the civilization which resulted from later 
mixtures these goddesses lost their supremacy, with the 
exception of Artemis, who in Asiatic cities like Ephesus 
maintained her position, though under a somewhat trans- 
formed character, till a comparatively late time. 

There is some evidence that a similar history was 
enacted in connection with the pantheon of Rome. Maia 
seems to have been an earth-mother goddess, whose cult 
was in a way maintained down to the latest times,* but 
Rome became such a warlike power that the virile gods of 
battle almost eclipsed in the historical period this primi- 
tive goddess. 

A similar history can in all probability be traced in the 
Teutonic pantheon.^ 

1 See Farnell's Cults of the Greek States, "Vol. II, p. 464 ff. 

2 Farnell, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 507. 
8 Farnell, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 289. 

* Maorobius, Saturnalia, I, 12. 

* Cf. Gummere's Germanic Origins, New York, 1892, ch. xiv. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 179 

From such examples as these the following conclusions 
may be fairly drawn. Where the beginnings of agricul- 
ture are possible men naturally worship goddesses which 
they connect with the earth, or a lake, or some spring 
which is conceived as the giver of fertility. ^ In all 
probability as long as such communities remained peace- 
ful such goddesses continued to be supreme, but when 
other tribes or clans, attracted by their prosperity began 
to conquer them, all soon became changed. These attack- 
ing clans were in some cases pastoral, and consequently 
patriarchal and worshippers of gods rather than god- 
desses ; in other cases they were clans organized on the 
republican basis for hazardous undertakings and therefore 
worshippers of virility. If they had been agricultural 
communities and worshippers of goddesses, warlike habits 
in many cases changed these into gods. In the struggles 
which foUowed the strong powers of the warrior would in 
time become idealized by all as the chief powers of the 
leading deity, and the old goddesses when retained would 
take a subordinate position. 

In an oasis country like Arabia the conditions were 
somewhat different. The direct dependence of all upon 
the oasis and the mother goddesses of these fertile spots 
would keep even the republican clans, organized for the 
caravan trade, largely dependent upon, and worshippers 
of, the mother goddesses. The natural barriers of the 
peninsula protected the clans from outside influences and 
attacks, so that here even in the midst of long struggles 
between clan and clan for supremacy the goddess could 
maintain her position. We have a right therefore to ex- 
pect that when the Semites went forth in hordes from 
Arabia into other lands their mother goddesses would 
present much more fixity of character than the mother 
goddesses of ordinary agricultural communities such as 
the Sumerians of Babylonia were. The peculiar emphasis 

iThis is no doubt the origin of the " corn spirit " which Frazer traces 
through so many countries. Cf. Golden Bough, Vol. II, passim. 



180 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



whicli the deification of the palm tree led them to place 
upon sexual functions also gives a Semitic goddess a 
character quite peculiarly her own. In the fragmentary 
information which has come down to us we may not 
always be able to distinguish these characteristics, but 
where our information is full the task is not difficult. 

In applying these principles to the gods of Babylonia 
we are met by another difficulty. Were the Sumerian 
communities always peaceful and their goddesses conse- 
quently left in supremacy until the Semites invaded the 
country and the struggle with them began ? The answer is 
not easy, as it lies altogether in prehistoric time, but the 
probabilities are all in favor of a negative answer. From 
the mountains and high lands on either side of the Mesopo- 
tamian valley pastoral or unsettled clans must have poured 
themselves into the lower and more fertile lands of the 
agricultural portions from the , time when the Sumerians 
made their first settlements. At the very dawn of history 
Eannadu and the kings of Kish had frequently fought and 
conquered the Elamites,^ Eannadu boasting that he had 
driven them back to their mountain, and we have no means 
of knowing how many struggles between Babylonians and 
Elamites may have preceded. In all probability such wars 
had been going on for generations before the Semitic ad- 
vent, and had as in Mexico, Peru, Greece, Rome, and else- 
where transformed or subordinated the Sumerian goddesses. 
If then we can find in Babylonia gods of tribes or cities 
whose masculine character seems to have been fully estab- 
lished before the dawn of history and whose traits seem to 
have no organic connection with Ishtar or Athtar, we may 
conclude that such deities are Sumerian. If, on the other 
hand, we find cities where goddesses are supreme and where 
the peculiar sexual features which were developed in Arabia 

'Cf. Bevue d. assyr., Vol. IV, pi. 1, col. iii and col. v; also Radau, 
Early Babylonian History, pp. 85 and 91 ; de Sarzeo's Dccouvertes, pi. 31, 
No. 2, a and b, col. iii, and Radau, op. cit., p. 94 ; also OTBM., Ft. IX, 
pi. 1 and 2 ; Hilprecht, OBI., No. 5, and Radan, op. cit., p. 128. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 181 

are present, or goddesses connected witli the culture of the 
date-palm, or gods developed out of goddesses which were 
so connected, we may hold that the dominant element of 
such civilization was Semitic. 

In applying this test it will be most convenient to begin 
with an old Babylonian kingdom, which has been brought 
to light by the researches of recent years, the kingdom of 
Kish. True, scholars have wavered as to whether it was 
really a kingdom,^ but the fact that the name is followed 
by the determinative for place when spoken of by those 
outside its limits,^ seems to settle the matter. This city 
or region appears to have been situated east of Babylon 
and north of Shirpurla on the Tigris River in northern 
Babylonia.^ It is the first of the Babylonian states whose 
kings wrote their inscriptions in Semitic Babylonian, and 
thereby reveal their Semitic origin.* One of the early 
kings of Kish has left a votive inscription hitherto mis- 
understood, which proves for the kingdom of Kish a 
development of the Ishtar cult similar to that which we 
have already proven by monumental evidence for south 
Arabia.^ This inscription reads : — 

1. " For the king of countries, 

2. Nana, (Ishtar) ; 

. 3. For the lady. Nana, (Ishtar), 

4. Lugal-tarsi, 

6. king of Kish, 

6. the structure of a terrace 

7. has made."® 

iCf. WinoMer's AUorientalische Forschungen, 1st ser., p. 144, and 
HUprecht, OBI., p. 270 (pt. 2, p. 56). 

" Cf. Radau's Early Babylonian History, p. 126. 

» Cf. Radau, op. cit., p. 112. 

*Cf. Hilprecht, OBI., Nos. 5-10, and Scheil's Textes, elamites- 
simitiques. Paris, 1900. 

5 See above, Chapter IV. 

« This inscription is published in GTBM., Pt. Ill, pi. 1, No. 12155. In 
Sumerian it reads: (1) Dingir LXJGAL-RA KUR-KUR; (2) dingir 



182 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



In this inscription the name of the deity both in line 2, 
where it is in apposition with " king," and is consequently 
masculine, and in line 3, where the fact that it is preceded 
by the word " lady " proves it to be feminine, is expressed 
by the sign, which is employed as the ideogram for the 
name of the goddess Ishtar,^ as the syllabaries and bi- 
lingual hymns testify, but which scholars are accustomed 
to read in Sumerian texts, "Nana" or "Ninnai." 

It is clear from the argument in the first three chapters 
of this work that the name Ishtar was no late invention of 
the Semitic peoples, but had its origin in primitive Semitic 
life. In all probability, therefore, it was carried by the 
Semites with them to Babylonia, as well as to the other 
countries whither they went. As the people of Kish were 
Semitic, it was no doubt their name for the goddess,^ and 

NANA; (3) NIN dingir NANA-RA ; (4) LUGAL-TAE-SI ; (5) 
LUGAL KISH ; (6) GIR KISAL ; (7) MtJ-NA-RU. Thureau Dangin 
translates (^Bev. W assyriologie, "Vol. IV, p. 74, n. 15, and Tablettes 
chaldeennes inedites, p. 6, n. 15), "En I'honneur du dleu contr6es et 
de Ishtar, de la dame Ishtar," etc. Radau (op. cit., p. 125, n. 3) would 
render: "In honor of the god of countries and of Ishtar, the mistress 
of the divine Innanna," etc. I believe both to have missed the signi- 
ficance of the inscription as to the history of the development of 
religious conceptions. Cf. my paper, " An Androgynous Baby- 
lonian Divinity," in JAOS., Vol. XXI^, p. 185 £E. Eadau's reading 
" Innanna " is based on Thureau Dangin's translation in Bev. semitique, 
Vol. V, p. 67 ff., of Eannadu's Galet A, of col. ii, 1. 5. Thureau 
Dangin translates the sign for Ishtar " Inanna " there because in col. v, 
1. 26, he had been unable to render it othervrise. Upon reference to the 
original publication in Bev. d'assyriologie, Vol. IV, pi. 1, it is found, as I 
have pointed out in the paper referred to above, that it may equally well 
be read in both passages "Ishtar" instead of "Inanna." Even if the 
inscription was deposited by the king at a temple in Shirpurla, it vouches 
for the conceptions prevalent in his own city. 

1 Cf. II R., 59, 12, e.f. ; IV R., 1, 33 b ; and Briinnow's List, No. 3051. 

2 The Sumerian name Nana, I take to be simply an epithet It is 
usually written NA-NA-A. NA signifies "exalted" (cf. II R., 30, 24, 
g, h, Briinnow, List, No. 1584, and Haupt, A8KT., p. 136, § 5). Words 
are in Sumerian frequently repeated for emphasis ; thus we get NA-NA. 
This repetition is too frequent in verbs to need illustration, but it also 
occurs in nouns ; cf. UD-UD, OBL, No. 87, col. 1, 1. 46 ; and the final 
A is the repetition of the final syllable in the emphatic state. Thus 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 183 

we have a right accordingly to read the sign Islitar in 
both places where it occurs in the inscription of Lugaltarsi. 
Clear evidence is thus presented of the development of 
the old mother goddess into a masculine and feminine 
deity at Kish, parallel to that of Athtar in Arabia, — a 
development produced by the transformation in the social 
structure caused by the changed environment. 

If one is inclined to object to the conclusion just reached, 
he might urge that this inscription very likely comes from 
Telloh, and that accordingly it may not represent the 
religious ideas of Kish at all, and that as Enlil is so con- 
stantly called " King of countries " Ishtar may have been 
written in the first line by a scribal error for Enlil. These 
are two considerations which certainly deserve to be met. 
To take the second one first, it may be remarked that in 
the inscriptions from Telloh, Gudea frequently calls Nana- 
Ishtar " Mistress of countries," ^ and that there was at 
Shirpurla a god Lugal-Erim, who seems to have been but 
another phase of Nana-Ishtar, " Mistress of Erim."^ Sup- 
pose then that Lugaltarsi was addressing these, our con- 
clusion would still be just, though it would apply to 
Shirpurla instead of Kish. 

But probably it applies to Kish, as the inscriptions from 
Susa, recently published by Father Scheil,^ seem to confirm 
it. The most important of these inscriptions is from 

NA-NA-A means "the exalted one," and was applied as naturally to the 
supreme mother goddess in primitiye times as sirtu (MAG.) was applied 
to the same goddess, with a similar meaning in the Gilgamish epic 
(of. Haupt Nimrodepns, p. 141, 1. 163. Jensen KB., Vol. VI, p. 241 
renders it belit il&ni, "lady of the gods," which is an interpretation rather 
than a translation). 

1 Cf. e.g. Statue C, col. ii, 1. 2, and col. iv, 1. 10 ; i.e. de Sarzec's 
Decouvertes, pi. 13, No. 1. Cf. Records of the Past, 2d ser.. Vol. II, 
pp. 87, 89. 

2 See de Sarzec, Decouvertes, pi. 8, col. ii, 1. 2, and col. iv, U. 8, 9. 
Cf. also Records of the Past, 2d ser., Vol. I, pp. 75, 77, and KB., Vol. IIIi, 
pp. 21, 23. 

' Memoires de la delegation en Perse, Tom. II. Textes elamites-semi- 
tiques, Paris, 1900. 



184 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



Manishtu-irba, king of Kish. It shows that the kings of 
Kish had conquered Susa at a very early date. In other 
archaic texts from Susa, written by men who were subject 
to some foreign power, probably Kish, the ideogram for 
Susa is the ideogram for Ishtar, plus ERIN, which means 
"cedar forest."^ This same combination of signs is also 
used to represent the name of a deity, which would accord- 
ingly be " Ishtar of the cedar forest." ^ That deity is once 
called "Lady" and "King" in the same inscription.^ 
Either, therefore, the Semites of Kish had planted the 
worship of their goddess at Susa, where she became 
metamorphosed into a god, or they had identified her, after 
she had been so metamorphosed at Kish, with a god which 
they found already at Susa. The result is for our purpose 
the same in either case, for it confirms the development 
suggested by the inscription of Lugaltarsi. 

It will be best to examine next the gods of Shirpurla 
(otherwise called Lagasli),* since we have more abundant 
information concerning its pantheon than we have con- 
cerning the gods of any other Babylonian city at a date 
equally early. From the inscriptions of Gudea, who was 
ruler of Shirpurla about 3000 B.C., it is possible to form a 
tolerably clear idea of its principal deities for Gudea's 
time, and the occasional glimpses which the inscriptions 
of his predecessors give us of these deities, assure us that 
substantially the same pantheon extended back to 4500 
B.C., or earlier.^ The city or region of Shirpurla (for it 

1 Scheil, op. cit., 58, 59, 63, 69. 

2 Ibid., pp. 58, 59, 1. 8. 

' Ibid., p. 69. It seems probable that this is the same deity which was 
later called Khumbaba, and who dwelt in the cedar wood in the midst of 
such magnificence. Cf. the Gilgamish epic, tablet V, Haupt, Nimrodepos 
pp. 24 ff., 28, 54, 58, and KB., Vol. VI, p. 159 ff. 

* Cf. Pinches, Ouide to the Kouyunjik Gallery, London, 1884, p. 7. 

' See the inscriptions of tJrukagina and other early kings in KB., Vol. 
III^, p. 10 ff., and in Radau, op. cit., p. 48 ff. Also the B inscription of 
monument Blau, which must be much older. (Cf. Ward in PAOS., 1885, 
p. Ivii, Jour, of Am. Arch., 1st ser.. Vol. IV, pi. v, and my translation, 
JAOS., Vol. XXII, p. 123.) 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 185 

is not certain that it was simply one city)^ was, as Amiaud 
pointed out^ and as other scholars have also observed,^ 
composed of four cities or districts, each of which possessed 
its tutelary deity. These four districts were Girsu, in 
which the god Ningirsu was the chief deity ; Uruazagga, 
the chief deity of which was the goddess Ban ; Nina, over 
which the goddess Nina presided, and a town the name of 
which most scholars read as Gishgalla, but which I, with 
Jensen, would read Erim, the principal divinity of which 
was the goddess Ishtar or Nana. By the time of Gudea 
these four places had long been united under one sov- 
ereignty, and the four deities had been given places in one 
mythological family. Ningirsu and Bau were husband 
and wife, Nina was the sister of Ningirsu, while Nana was 
perhaps his mother.* Shirpurla afforded at this time 
many other deities beside these, but these were formed into 
an amicable family, while most of the others were grouped 
about them as subordinates. A few, like En-lil or Bel of 
Nippur, were superior to these four. This superiority of 
the gods of other cities had, however, grown out of previ- 
ously existing political conditions, while the gods sub- 
ordinate to this group had either been developed by the 
application of epithets from a few primary deities, or bor- 
rowed from other places. 

If now we apply to the principal deities of Shir- 
purla the rule formulated above,^ we reach the conclusion 
that Uruazagga, Nina, and Erim were either Sumerian 
settlements which had escaped war, or Semitic settlements, 
because their chief divinities were goddesses. As the 
former alternative is contrary to all probability, we are 
driven to regard them as Semitic. This conclusion is con- 

1 Cf. Ball, P8BA., Vol. XV, p. 51 ff.; Hommel, FSB A., Vol. XV, 
p. 108 ff. ; and Davis, PA08., 1895, p. ccxiii ff. 

2 Records of the Past, 2d ser., Vol. I, p. 46 ff. 

3 See Davis in PAOS., 1895, p. ccxiii ff., and Price in AJSL., Vol. XVI, 
p. 48 fl. 

* Cf. Davis in PAOS., 1895, p. coxv. 
' p. 179 fl. 



186 SEMITIC OEIGINS 



firmed by the traces of Semitic idiom which appear in the 
inscriptions of Shirpurla.^ If this be true, these three 
feminine divinities were three forms of the goddess Ishtar, 
and it will be instructive to examine them a little more 
closely. 

To begin with Nana, it is clear from the preceding 
argument that her real name was Ishtar, and that she was 
probably so called in the popular speech of Erim. The 
statements made concerning her by the kings would well 
apply to Ishtar. Ur-Bau calls her " the brilliant, the 
exalted lady," ^ and Gudea, " the bearer of the word of 
life." ^ Davis has pointed out that Ninkharsag was 
originally the same goddess as Ishtar, but worshipped 
under a separate epithet, and the inscriptions bear out the 
statement.* Under this epithet Entemena, about 4100 
B.C., built a temple to her,^ Eannadu and Entemena claim 
to have been nourished by her milk, as does Lugalzaggisi,^ 
and Gudea a millennium later calls her the " mother of the 
city's children." ^ That Nana (Ishtar) was held in high 
esteem in other ways is shown by the fact that Eannadu 
claims that she gave him the patesiship of Shirpurla and 

1 Cf. Kadau, op. cit, pp. 145-147. The language chiefly spoken in 
Shirpurla was probably Semitic, but writing had been adopted here from 
the Sumerians at a date long before the use of the cuneiform character 
for the expression of thought in Semitic had begun in neighboring Baby- 
lonian cities. It was apparently conformity to ancient custom which 
maintained the use of Sumerian for the purpose of written expression so 
long at Shirpurla, when at Kish, Guti, Lulubi, and Agade writing in 
Semitic had been going on for some hundreds of years. 

2 Cf . de Sarzec's Decouvertes en Chaldee, pi. 8, col. iv, 1. 9 ; cf. KB, 
Vol. nil, p. 23. 

' See Price's Great Cylinder Inscriptions A & B of Gudea, Cyl. A, 
col. xiv, 1. 26. 

* Cf. PAOS., 1895, p. ccxiv. ^ gee Radau, op. cit., p. 101. 

^ Cf. Galet A, Sev. d'assyr.. Vol. IV, pi. i, col. ii, 1. 5, and my trans- 
lation in J-O^^'., Vol. XXII, p. 186, n. 6. Cf. OBt, No. 115, and Radau, 
op. cit., p. 118, and OBI., No. 87, col. i, 11. 28-29, and Eadau, op. cit., 
p. 133. 

' Cf. de Sarzec, op. cit., pi. 20, col. i, 1. 3 ; Amiaud, Records of the Past, 
2d ser.. Vol. II, p. 75, and Radau, op. cit., p. 198. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 187 

the kingship of Kish.^ From such statements as these we 
can, with the knowledge gained in the preceding pages, 
fill out a tolerably correct picture of her character and 
worship. She was simply the old Semitic mother goddess. 
Since she was the tutelary deity of the city Erim, its 
inhabitants were probably chiefly Semites. 

There is also evidence that the Ishtar of the town 
had, like the goddess worshipped by Lugaltarsi, begun to 
undergo differentiation into a masculine and a feminine 
deity. She is several times referred to as Lugal-Erim, 
i.e. " king of Erim," showing that a confusion of thought 
with reference to her sex had already begun.^ 

A goddess of this group about whom somewhat more is 
known is Nina, the tutelary deity of the city or district 
of the same name. She is represented in the inscriptions 
by an ideogram, which is compounded of the ideogram 
for house into which that for fish is inserted.^ This indi- 
cates that she was previously the goddess of a fishing 
town. The same ideogram was afterwards employed to 
write the name of the city of Nineveh in Assyria. It 
was, of course, used to express the name of the city of 
Nina in Shirpurla. The name of the Assyrian city was 
pronounced Nina or Ninua. As nun is the Semitic Baby- 
lonian for fish, we have in the name Ninua a hint at what 
men in the Assyrian period considered her name to mean. 
Perhaps in Sumerian she had been called NIN-A, "lady 
of waters," which was by a folk etymology afterwards 
made in Semitic to mean "the fish." The reasons for 
this we shall have occasion to examine by and by. 

' Cf. Galet A, col. v, 1. 23 to col. vi, 1. 5. Text Mev. d'assyr., Vol. 
IV, pi. i, and my translation JO AS., Vol. XXI i, p. 186, n. 6. 

2 Cf. Bev. d'assyr., Vol. IV, pi. 1, col. ii, 1. 1.3 (cf. Thureau Dangin 
in Mev. Sem., Vol. V, p. 67, and Radau, op. cit., p. 85), and de Sarzec, 
op. cit., pi. 8, col. ii, 1, 2 (cf. Amiaud, op. cit., p. 75, and Jensen, op. cit., 
pp. 20, 21), also CTBM., Ft. X, No. 86900, U. 28, 29. The development 
noted in the inscription of Lugaltarsi (above, p. 181 ff.) should be com- 
pared. 

8 Cf. Thureau Dangin's Becherches, No. 350. 



188 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



Our knowledge of the worship of Nina begins about 
4300 B.C., with the inscriptions of Ur-Nina. He declares 
that he built her temple, renewed her image, and caused 
her servants to build for her two high places.^ The 
word used for " servants " is expressed by the ideogram for 
"dog," the Semitic term for sacred prostitute (see below, 
Chapter VI). Eannadu and Entemena call themselves a 
little later the " Chosen of her heart," ^ and Entemena built 
various buildings for her.^ Ur-Bau calls her the mother 
of the goddess Nin-mar,* and Gudea, the "mistress of 
tablet writing,"^ "the child of Eridu,"® and "the supreme 
lady."^ He says he built her temple and placed in it the 
image of a lion.^ An inscription from the time of Dungi 
calls that king " the lord whom Nina loves," and he calls 
on an unnamed goddess, who was probably Nina, in behalf 
of his life.® 

From the general course of our argument we should 
expect a goddess like Nina to be a form of Ishtar. .This 

1 See de Sarzec, Decouvertes, pi. 2 in No. 2, KB., Vol. IIP, 11-15, and 
Kadau, op. cit., pp. 61-63. Where Eadau reads "his wife for NinS," we 
should read, " the lady NinS,." 

2 Cf. Hev. d^assyr., Vol. IV, pi. i, col. i, 1. 9, and col. ii, 1. 1 ; also Bev. 
semitique. Vol. V, p. 67 ; also de Sarzec, Decouvertes, pi. 43, and Radau, 
op. cit., p. 116. 

' Cf. Bev. cfassyr., Vol. II, pp. 148, 149, col. iv ; Radau, op. cit., p. 113. 
Also de Sarzec, Decouvertes, pi. 31, No. 2, and Radau, op. cit., p. 94. 

* De Sarzec, op. cit., pi. 8, col. v, 11. 8-10 ; cf. KB., Vol. IIP, p. 25. 

6Cf. PSBA., Vol. XIII, pp. 62, 64, No. 2; Radau, op. cit., p. 193; 
Gudea, Statue B in de Sarzeo's Decouvertes, pi. 16 ff., and KB., Vol. IIP, 
p. 47. 

« Cylinder A (cf. Price's Great Cylinder Inscriptions'), col. xx, 1. 16. 

' PSBA., Vol. XIII, pp. 62, 64, No. 2. 

8 Ibid. 

9 The text is published in CTBM., Ft. V, No. 12218, and is as follows: 
(1.1) Dingir (NIN) LIG (2) NIN-A-NI (Z) NAM-TI (4) Dingir DUN-GI 
(4) NITAG LIG-GA (5) LUGAL URU-/u-MAMUG-KA (6) dingir 
BA-U-NIN-A-AN (7) ZABAR ZID (8) UR dingir NIN-GIR-SU (9) EN 
KI AKA dingir NINA-KA-KID (10) NAM-BA-KA-NI (11) MU-NA- 
DIM, i.e. "To the powerful lady, his mistress for the life of Dungi, the 
mighty hero, king of Ur, the exalted prince of Bau, lady of heaven, the 
brilliant, the faithful one, servant of Ningirsu, the lord who is beloved of 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 189 

expectation is confirmed by the fact that she had a com- 
pany of prostitutes, and was probably the lady of life. It 
is further confirmed by the fact that Entemena declares in 
several different inscriptions that he built a storehouse of 
dates for Nina.^ The date-palm we have seen to be so 
closely connected with the Semitic goddess that this 
becomes another evidence that Nina was a form of that 
divinity. Gudea, as we have noted, says that he placed 
in Nina's temple a statue of a lion. Dr. Ward has called 
attention to a seal in the Metropolitan Museum in New 
York, which represents a nude goddess riding on a lion 
drawing a chariot and holding the lightnings in her 
hands.2 He dates the cylinder at 3500 to 4000 B.C. It 
seems to me probable that this is a representation of Nina, 
and that it gives pictorial evidence of her close relation- 
ship to Ishtar. 

The worship of the third of these goddesses, Bau, is 
known to us from the same early sources as that of Nina, 
since she is mentioned in the inscriptions of Urkagina,^ 
Ur-Nina,* and Gudea. ^ She is easily shown to be a form 
of Ishtar. Ur-Bau calls her the "good lady,"^ while 
Gudea calls her his chief mistress,^ and has left on record 
two prayers in which he applies the term mistress in 

Nina, the beauty of her .building constructed." Of course the goddess 
addressed in the first line may be Ishtar or Bau, but since the prince calls 
himself the beloved of NinS, it seems more probable that he addresses her 
throughout. 

1 See e. g. OTBM., Pt. X, No. 86900, 11. 14, 15, and de Sarzec's Decou- 
vertes, PI. 5 bis, Face, col. iv, 11. 2, 3. 

2 Cf. AJSL., Vol. XIV, p. 95 ; cf. PSBA., Vol. XVIII, pp. 156, 
157. 

8 Cf. Amiaud in Becords of the Past, 2d ser.. Vol. I, p. 69, and Radau, 

op. cit., p. 50. 

* Cf. Bev. d'assyriologie, Vol. IV, p. 106, No. 11, and Radau, op. cit, 

p. 65. 

6 See e. g. KB., Vol. IIV-, pp. 58, 59. 

8 Cf. de Sarzec Decouvertes, pi. 8, col. iv, 1. 3 ff., Amiaud, op. cit., p. 
76, and KB., Vol. Ill, p. 23. 

' Cyl. A, col. xxiv, 1. 6. 



190 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



several different ways and prays especially for life,^ as 
though she were the life giver. In nnother passage he calls 
her "mother Bau."^ Galalama calls her also " mother (?) 
of Shirpurla."^ On New Year's day, probably at the 
beginning of the first month, Gudea tells us also that he 
celebrated the festival of the goddess Bau, offering her 
various sacrifices of oxen, sheep, and lambs ; dates and 
shoots of palm forming also a prominent feature of the 
offering.* This spring festival was, as we have shown in 
a previous chapter, the old spring festival of the yeaning 
time, and was a festival of the goddess Ishtar. A mother 
goddess, whose festival celebrated the birth of young, 
would, among a Semitic people, be a form of Ishtar. The 
name BA-U was simply an epithet, meaning "producer of 
food," and was probably given her as the goddess of the 
date tree and then of agriculture in general. Bau had a 
brother, Ningishzida,^ whose name means "lady (or lord 
(?)) of the tree of life." Jastrow takes him to be identical 
with Ningirsu,^ but Price considers this to be impossible.'' 
In view of the development at Kish noted above,^ where 
Ishtar was divided into a masculine and a feminine deity, 
it is probable that Ningishzida was originally an epithet 
given to Bau in consequence of her connection with the 
palm tree, and gradually, as she was differentiated, con- 
tinued to be applied to the masculine portion of her. 
Possibly it may seem more probable to some that Ningish- 
zida was a name of Tammuz, and that he is, in consequence 
of this, a brother of Bau-Ishtar ; the result is in this case 

1 Cf. de Sarzeo, op. cit., pi. 13, Nos. 1 and 4, Amiaud, Becords of the 
Past, 2d ser., Vol. II, pp. 92, 103, and Radau, op. cit., pp. 202, 
208. 

2 Cyl. B, col. xvli, 1. 2. 

= Cf. de Sarzeo, op. cit., pi. 21, No. 4, and KB., Vol. IIP, p. 71. 

* Cf. KB., Vol. Ill, p. 61, and Amiaud, op. cit., p. 101. 

6 Cf. Cyl. B, col. xxiii, 1. 5, and Davis, PAOS., 1895, p. coxv. 

* Beligion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 92. 
' AJSL., Vol. XVII, p. 60. 

8 p. 181 ff. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 191 

the same, though the goal by which it is reached be 
slightly different.^ 

At the time from which most of our information comes, 
the four districts of Shirpurla had long been united under 
one sovereignty. This had produced religious syncretism, 
and the gods were formed into a pantheon. In this pan- 
theon Bau was regarded as the wife of Ningirsu, the god 
of Girsu, the fourth of the districts of Shirpurla.^ She is 
also said to be the daughter of Anu,^ but this, as we shall 
see by and by, has less historical significance than some of 
the mythological statements concerning other forms of the 
goddess. 

The view we have taken of the nature of Bau is con- 
firmed in another way. One of her titles was Gatumdug.* 
Indeed, under this name she became almost a separate god- 
dess. As Gatumdug she is frequently called "mother of 
Shirpurla,"^ but is shown to be originally identical with 
Bau since she is said to sit enthroned in Uruazagga,^ Ban's 
city. 

Ningirsu, the god of Girsu, the fourth district of Shir- 
purla, is mentioned in the inscriptions much oftener than 
any of the goddesses of the other districts. Most of the 
references, important as they are for a knowledge of other 
phases of the religion, do not materially help us in solving 
the problem of origins.'' The application of our econom- 

1 Other epithets of Bau were Ma-ma (of. OBI., Pt. II, p. 48, n. 6), 
and Chi-la. In later times, this last name prevailed (cf. Jastrow, Eeligion 
of Babylonia and Assyria, pp. 60, 105, 166, etc.), and became the goddess 
of healing and of the nether world. 

" Cf. Davis, op. cit., p. ccxiv. 

» Cf. KB., Vol. IIP, p. 53, Amiaud, op. cit.. Vol. II, p. 91. 

* Cf. Amiaud, op. cit.. Vol. I, p. 60. 

' See, e.g., de Sarzec, op. cit., pi. 14, col. i, 1. 1 fi., Amiaud, op. cit., 
Vol. II, p. 97. 

• Cf. de Sarzec, op. cit., pi. 14, col. iii, 1. 6 ff., and Amiaud, op. cit., Vol. 
n, p. 99. Gatumdug is once an epithet of Nana, see below, p. 260, n. 6. 

' He is called In them, " the king," "the great warrior of Enlil," etc., 
epithets which are important as showing his position in the pantheon of 
Shirpurla, but which throw little light on his original nature. 



192 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



ico-religious test has made it clear that the towns or dis- 
tricts of Erim, Nin&, and Uruazagga were peopled mainly 
by Semites, and probably founded by Semites. At all 
events, at the very dawn of history, the Semitic element 
in the civilization is predominant. Is the same true of 
the remaining district of Shirpurla, Girsu ? I think that 
it is, for the following reasons : 1. The name Ningirsu 
really means "lady of Girsu." ^ It is true that in at least 
one phrase the Sumerian NIN seems to mean " lord," ^ but 
it has almost universally a feminine signification,^ which 
was no doubt its primary meaning. The Sumerians had 
another word for "lord" (viz. EN), and they can hardly 
be supposed to be so lacking in the sense of sex as to have 
expressed at first both "lord" and "lady" by the same 
word. Confusion between the two words would be very 
natural, however, if a goddess had been metamorphosed 
into a god as was done in South Arabia and at Kish. The 
word in the name which once had a feminine meaning 
would then seem to have a masculine signification, thus 
producing the confusion. 2. At the time of Gudea, both 
masculine and feminine qualities may in one passage still 
be traced in the conception of this god. Certain gifts are 
presented in one line to " mother Ningirsu," and two lines 

1 The name of the city or district is usually spelled GIR-SU, but in 
two or three inscriptions in de Sarzec's Decouvertes (of. No. 4 bis., and 
KS., Vol. nil, p, 10, col. i, 1. 5, and Radau, op. cit., p. 58, n. 6), it is 
spelled SU-GIR, or SUN-GIR (of. Hommel, Sum. Les., No. 7). Some 
scholars have therefore taken it to be identical with the later Sumir, cf. 
Radau, ibid., and Rogers, History of Babylonia and Assyria, Vol. I, p. 
356, who reads it Sungir. If GIR-SU be the spelling, it probably meant 
" body lance," perhaps equivalent to " girdle lance." This was at least 
an early folk interpretation of the name, for in a Babylonian inscrip- 
tion from before 5000 e.g., the Blau Monuments, a certain Khakhatabbar 
says that Ningirsu's monument of protection, a lance (GIR) he brought 
and placed in his temple. The inscription is inscribed on an object shaped 
like a lance blade (cf. American Journal of Archaeology, 1st ser., Vol. 
IV, pi. V, and my article "Notes on the Blau Monuments" in JAOS., 
Vol. XXIII, p. i2,S), 

-! AL.,^ No. 301% ^i,4 No. .309''. 

" Cf. Brunnow's List, Nos. 10984-10990. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 193 

farther on, to "lord Ningirsu.''^ This confusion can onlj- 
be accounted for by supposing that there was a time when 
Ningirsu was the goddess of Girsu, and that she had after- 
wards been transformed into a god. 3. A bilingual frag- 
ment of a later time equates EN-GIR-SI (the word 
NIN, "lady," having been here changed to EN, "lord"), 
with Tammuz.2 This indicates that Ningirsu and Tam- 
muz were closely related, just as Ishtar and Tammuz were. 
If Ningirsu were a transformed Ishtar, the Tammuz which 
originally accompanied her may well have been fused with 
the resultant god either during or after the process of 
transformation. 4. If Ningirsu had been a Sumerian 
deity, the prehistoric wars would probably have completely 
effected his transformation from a goddess before the 
dawn of history. 5. Ningirsu came to mean husband- 
man,^ — a meaning which appears to have been derived 
from the fact that he was a god of fertility and life, such 
as a transformed Ishtar would be. 6. Entemena, in a 
mutilated text on an old gate socket, the reading of which 
is not quite certain, appears to call him " god of life," * as 
the goddesses of Shirpurla are called "lady of life." 
7. The scores of phallic shaped cones inscribed to Nin- 
girsu, found at Shirpurla, such as are pictured in de Sar- 
zec's JD&couvertes en ChaldSe, pi. 38, point to a connection 
of his cult with the sexual cult of Ishtar. For these 

1 Cyl. B, col. X, U. 5, 7. The passage reads (1. 3) GISTIN-A DA 
GISTIN-TIN-A DA (4) UZ AZAG UZ GA GU BIR-MIR (5) AMA 
dingir NIN-GIR-SU-KA (6) NI-GA-BI ES E-SI-A-MUS NU-GUB- 
DA (7) EN IMIR SIBA BIR-IMIR EN dingir NIN-GIR-SU-RA 
(8) MI-NI-DA MU-NA-DA DIB SUM, i.e. "Wine lie brought up, 
strong drink he brought up, a goat, a perfect goat, milk, the drink from 
the asses of mother Ningirsu, the cream of their milk in the temple Eshia- 
mush he offered ; to the lord of the asses, the shepherd of the asses, the 
lord Ningirsu he raised, he lifted up, he brought, he presented it." 

2 IV R., 27, No. 6, col. ii, 11. 42-43. 

8 Cf. V. R., 16, 39 ef, and Brunnow's List, No. 10995. 

< CTBM., Pt. V, No. 12061, 11. 10-12. They read dingir NIN-GIR-SU 

LUGAL(?) DINGIR-A-NI DINGIR TI(?), i.e. "Ningirsu 

the king, his god, the god of life." The sign TI, "life," is not quite 
certain, as it is partly erased. 
o 



194 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



reasons it seems highly probable that Ningirsu was a mascu- 
linized Ishtar. The fact that he was transformed, while 
Nana, Nina, and Ban were not, is probably due either to 
the fact that Girsu was the conquering and the more war- 
like of the settlements of Shirpurla, or to the presence of a 
larger Sumerian element there. It seems probable that 
Girsu was the oldest of the four settlements. Ningirsu, 
its god, appears already before 5000 B.C., under that name 
on the Blau Monuments.^ This presupposes the existence 
of the city at that early time. There is, however, in the 
inscription nothing to indicate whether Ningirsu was at 
that time masculine or feminine (unless the fact that the 
sacrifice consisted of ewes may point to a goddess), as the 
suffix used in referring to the deity may be used in either 
gender.2 Girsu, too, was the original seat of the monarchy, 
which afterwards conquered the other districts, for Ur- 
kagina, about 4500 B.C., styles himself indifferently king 
of Girsu or king of Shirpurla. Girsu must have been 
originally quite separate from the other districts. Indeed, 
each was no doubt originally quite an independent settle- 
ment. That that settlement was predominantly Semitic 
is shown by the Blau Monuments, for the superior race 
who are pictured upon them have the Semitic nose, while 
the inferior or slave race which they show, have quite 
different features.^ 

The conclusions here reached are not at all in conflict 
with the view that in the period from which our inscrip- 
tions come Ningirsu was a sun god ; they simply show 
that before he was identified with the solar orb he was a 
chthonic mother goddess. 

No doubt some Sumerian elements beside their sys- 
tem of writing entered into the Semitic civilization of 

1 Cf. my article "Notes on the Blau Monuments " in J'^OiS'.jVol. XXIF, 
p. 123. 

2 It is NI ; cf. Brtinnow's List, Nos. 5330, 5331. 

' Cf. American Journal of Archaeology, 1st ser., Vol. IV, pis. iv 
and V, and Ward, ibid., p. 40. 



TEANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 195 

Shirpurla, but it is impossible at this distance to tell how- 
great they were. Possibly some of the elements which 
helped to transform Ningirsu into a god were Sumerian. 
It is not necessary from the religious point of view to 
postulate any large amount of such influence ; the laws of 
Semitic social evolution are in the Mesopotamian environ- 
ment sufficient to account for all that occurred in the 
realm of the religion. 

Before passing from Shirpurla to other parts of Babylonia 
it will be convenient to remind ourselves that we are seek- 
ing origins which lie altogether beyond the horizon of 
written history and which can only be reconstructed by 
working backward from sporadic survivals. In this re- 
construction help may often be obtained from the myths 
which grew up around the pantheon of Shirpurla and 
other cities. Even at the early date when the written 
history of Babylonia begins, the country had been united 
in various political organizations till some gods like Enlil 
and Enki (Ea) had become largely dissociated from their 
original habitations and had entered into various pantheons 
as lord of the earth and of the deep. Anu is a god whose 
local habitation 1 we cannot trace, and who seems in the 
historical period to have been more of an abstraction than 
Enlil and Enki He had been added to these, and the 
three had been formed into a triad. In this triad Anu in 
theory stood at the head, but in practice the other two 
were more honored. There are, therefore, three classes of 
myths to be distinguished at the very dawn of Babylonian 
history ; (1) those which recall migrations of tribes or 
parts of tribes from earlier places of residence, like the 
myth that Nina is the daughter of Enki or Ea ; ^ (2) those 
which resulted from a long political subjugation, like the 

1 See Jastrow's History of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 89. The state- 
ment of Jeremias (Cliantepie de la Saussaye's Beligionsgeschichte, "Vol. I, 
p. 171), that he was the god of Ereoh, is a misconception. One might 
with as much reason call him a god of Shirpurla. See below, p. 218 ff. 

"IV E. 1, col. ii, 1. 38 ; cf. Davis, PAOS., 1895, p. coxv. 



196 SEMITIC OEIGmS 



myth that Ningirsu is the son and warrior of Enlil ; ^ and 
(3) those which have grown up out of the later abstract 
conceptions, or the identification of the gods with celestial 
objects, like the myth that Bau is the daughter of Anu.^ 
Careful examination will often enable us to distinguish 
these different classes of myths from one another, and to 
do so will aid us in following our slender thread of evi- 
dence through the tangled mazes of Babylonian life. 

Returning now to the first of the three myths just men- 
tioned, we are led to the city of Eridu, the most southerly 
of the old Babylonian towns, and to its god Ea. Nina is 
called the daughter of Ea and the child of Eridu. ^ Eridu 
was the city of the god Ea, its ideogram being the same 
as that of the god with the determinative for place affixed.* 
It was, about 4000 or 5000 B.C. or earlier, situated on the 
shore of the Persian Gulf.^ The name of Nina was, as we- 
have seen, written with the sign for house around the sign 
for fish ; while Ea was often pictured under the form of a 
fish, or as clad in a fishskin. A legend preserved for us 
through Berossos and Eusebius tells us how Oannes (who 
is certainly identified with Ea^) bore the form of a fish, 
and how he came up by day to the land and taught men 
how to construct houses, till the earth, collect fruits, 
compile laws, and all other useful knowledge.'^ In the 
pictorial representations Ea is seen as part man and part 
fish.^ The fact that the fish form enters into the repre- 

1 See e.g., Cyl. A, col. vii, 1. 5, col. viii, 1. 21, and Cyl. B, col. vi, 1. 6 ; 
of. Price, AJSL., Vol. XVII, p. 49. 

2 See above, p. 191, and below. 
^See above, p. 188. 

* Cf. Brunnow's List, Nos. 2625, 2645, and 2649. 

5 Cf. Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, p. 104, and Peters, Nippur, Vol. II, 
p. 299. 

^ Cf . Lenormant, Histoire ancienne de Vorient, Vol. V, p. 231 S., 
Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, p. 1.31, and Peters, Nippur, Vol. II, p. 299. 

'Cf. Cory's Ancient Fragments,^. 23 ff., also a cuneiform original 
of a part of it, published by Soheil in Becueil de traveaux. Vol. XX, 
p. 126 ff. 

8 Cf. Lenormant, op. cit., pp. 232, 238, and Sayce, op. cit., p. 133. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 197 

sentations of both Nina and Ea confirms the statement of 
the mythology that the two were kindred. Sometimes 
the fish god is pictorially represented as applying the fer- 
tilizing cone to the sacred palm tree,^ and this gives an- 
other thread of connection between the two, for as noted 
above, Nina was the goddess to whom dates were sacred. ^ 
At Eridu, the city of Ea, there was also a sacred tree,^ 
no doubt a palm, so that it is no accident that the fish god, 
or god of the water, is represented as fertilizing the palm. 
An unpublished cylinder in the British Museum repre- 
sents Ea thus and calls him "the god of life."* George 
Smith called attention to the fact that an unpublished 
brick in the same museum is inscribed to Ea under the 
name Nin-Eridu, or "lady of Eridu. "^ Amiaud doubted 
whether it really applied to that god,® but there can, in 
view of the development which we have traced elsewhere,^ 
be no doubt of it. 

The meaning of all these facts and myths would seem to 
be this : Eridu was probably the oldest Semitic settlement 
in Babylonia. Hither from Arabia the Semites came and 
planted their earliest colony, probably selecting the site 
because they found their sacred palm tree already growing 
there. The proximity of the Persian Gulf led them in 
course of time to associate their goddess with that body of 
water as they had in Arabia associated her with the spring 
or well of the oasis. If a Sumerian fishing goddess pre- 
ceded her here, identification of the two may have hastened 
the process. That in time she should be associated with 
the fish symbol was perfectly natural. In the lapse of 
years colonies were sent out to other points, partly in 
consequence of the natural multiplication of the populace, 
and partly in consequence of new immigration from 

1 See Lenormant, op. cit. , p. 232. ^ p i89_ 

«Cf. Jensen, Kosmologie, p. 99 ff., 249, n. ; Hilprecht, OBI., pt. 1, 
p. 28, and Radau, Early Babylonian History, p. 231. 

« Sayoe, op. cit., p. 133. ^ tSBA., Vol. I, p. 32. 

• Becords of the Past, 2d ser.. Vol. I, p. 60. 

' E.g., that in Athtar, Ishtar at Kish, and Ningirsu. 



198 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



Arabia. Nina was one of these, but probably by no 
means the earliest. The first colonists at Eridu brought 
with them the artificial culture of the palm tree, a culture 
probably before unknown to the country, and this addi- 
tion to such knowledge of agricultural pursuits as the 
country may have possessed before led in process of time 
to the myth that Ea was the source whence all knowledge 
of agriculture and civilized pursuits came. As this myth 
grew Ea became in consequence the god of wisdom. He 
was so regarded by Eannadu,^ Entemena,^ Lugalzaggisi,' 
and through all the subsequent history. As Semitic 
society was in this environment organized on another 
basis, the Ishtar of Eridu was transformed into a god, 
as happened also at Kish and Girsu. As early as the 
time of Eannadu the transformation had occurred, since 
he is called " king " * by that monarch as he is centuries 
later by Ur-Bau^ and Dungi.^ 

The worship of Ea is so widespread in Babylonia at the 
first dawn of history that we are compelled to suppose 
that in prehistoric time Eridu had been the seat of an 
empire which held sway over all of southern Babylonia. 
There is no improbability to offset this necessary inference 
from the phenomena of the religion, but on the other hand 
as the oldest Semitic settlement it would be very natural 
for it to become the head of a kingdom. 

After the time of Khammurabi (about 2300 B.C.) Ea 
was regarded as having for a spouse the goddess Damkina, 
" the lady of the earth." She does not appear in the older 

1 Cf. Bev. d" assyriologie, Vol. IV, pi. i, col. ii, 11. 6, 7 ; Rev. semi- 
tique, Vol. V, p. 67 ; and Radau, Early Babylonian History, p. 84. 

2 Sev. d'assijriologie, Vol. IV, pi. ii, col. v, 11. 24, 25 ; cf. Thureau 
Dangin's translation, ibid., p. 49, and Radau's op. cit., p. 108. 

" See Hilprecht, OBI., No. 87, col. i, 11. 17, 18 ; cf. Radau's translation, 
op. cit., p. 132. 

* Cf. Radau, op. cit., p. 80. 

6 Cf. de Sarzec, Decouvertes, pi. 8, col. iv, 1. 11 ; cf. KB., Vol. IIP, 
p. 23. 

s See Winokler's Altorientalische Forschungen, 1st ser., p. 547, No. 8 ; 
and Radau, op. cit. , p. 224. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 199 

literature,^ and is clearly simply a female outgrowth or 
counterpart of the Ea who two thousand years earlier had 
become a male deity, and who had as the necessities of the 
pantheons required, taken on more specialized functions. 
His own reflection was at last assigned to him in female 
form for a spouse, that he might not stand alone. 

Returning to the pantheon of Shirpurla and following 
another mythological clew, we are led by the statement of 
Arad-Sin, king of Larsa,^ that Ishtar (Nana) of Khallabi, 
which was, perhaps, a colony of Erim,^ is the daughter of 
EN-ZU or Sin, to the city of Ur, of which Sin was the 
chief deity. In the older texts the ideograms for Ur and 
Sin are as identical as those for Eridu and Ea. Next to 
Eridu, Ur was the most southerly of the ancient cities 
of Babylonia. We do hear in mythological poetry of 
Surippak, farther to the south, which was buried in the 
flood, but it plays no part in the history. Ur was a little 
to the westward of Eridu,* and is represented by the mod- 
ern mound of Mugheir. It was a very old city, probably 
not appreciably younger than Eridu. Its kings at various 
times held sway over the rest of Babylonia, and probably 
had done so before the dawn of history, for we find Sin, 
the god of Ur, a member in high standing of the pantheons 
of other cities when first the written records give us 
glimpses of their life. Naram-Sin, king of Agade about 
3750 B.C., is said by his name to be the favorite of this 
god of Ur, and gives us other evidence that Sin was wor- 
shipped beyond the borders of Ur.^ Lasirab^ of Guti 

1 Cf. Jastrow's Beligion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 64. 

" PSBA., Vol. XIII, pp. 158, 159; Davis, FAOS., 1895, p. ooxvi, 
evidently quoted from memory when he ascribed this statement to 
Gudea. 

' See below. 

* Cf. Peters, Nippur, Vol. II, p. 296 ff., and Rogers's History of Baby- 
lonia and Assyria, Vol. I, p. 290. 

* Cf. Thureau Dangin, Oomptes rendus de Vacad. inscr., 1899, p. 348, 
and Radau, op. cit., p. 17.3 ff. 

6 Cf. Winckler, ZA., Vol. IV, p. 406, and Radau, op. cit., p. 175 ff. 



200 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



and Anu-banani^ of Lulubi had both worshipped him at 
a still earlier time. The worship of this god also appears 
at Shirpurla, where he was probably regarded as the father 
of Nana or Ishtar.^ This fact, like the myth that Nina 
was the daughter of Ea, would seem to give a hint that 
Erim, the district over which Nana ruled may have been 
colonized from Ur, as Nina was colonized from Eridu, or at 
least that there was some close connection between them. 
If this be true, we must suppose that Sin was at the first 
an Ishtar and was transformed into a male like Ishtars in 
other places. This view cannot be made out as clearly 
as the cases which have already been treated, but its 
probability is increased by the following considerations : 

1. Dungi calls the chief deity of Ur Nin-Ur, "lady of Ur," 
and his "mistress," as Ea was called "lady of Eridu."* 

2. An old hymn to the moon god* attributes to him the 
authorship of all fertility in a way quite explicable if he 
had first been the chthonic mother goddess, but which 
would be meaningless were he simply a personification of 
the moon. He is in this hymn called " lord of increase," 
" the begetter of everything," " the begetter of gods and 
men," the " maintainer of the life of the world," the one 
"at whose command vegetation is created,"^ etc. These 
are all epithets not only befitting Ishtar, but which in 
another old hymn are most of them actually applied to 
her.^ 3. Throughout the hymn and in other texts Sin is 
constantly called " father," ^ which would be very natural 
if he had grown out of a mother goddess. 4. His symbol 

1 Cf. Becueil de traveaux, Vol. XIV, pp. 100-106, since published in 
Textes elamites-semitiqites, andBadau, op. cit., p. 177. 

2 Cf. Amiaud in Becords of the Past, 2d ser., Vol. I, p. 57, and above 
p. 185. 

3 Cf. Hilprecht, OBI., No. 16, and Radau, op. cit., p. 224. 
<IVR., 9. 

' See Jastrow, Beligion of Babylonia and Assyria, pp. 303, 304. 
' Cf. Haupt, A8KT., p. 116 ff., Zimmern, Babylonische Busspsalmen, 
p. 33 ff., and Hebraica, Vol. X, p. 15. 

' See, e.g., the text of Nabu-na'id, I R., 69, and KB., Vol. Ill 2, p. 81 ft. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 201 

was the ox. He is called in the hymn (11.19, 20) "the 
strong bull with great horns." The symbol of Ishtar, as 
shown on an old seal, was the cow,^ and such a transforma- 
tion as we have supposed would connect the two. Simi- 
larly the symbol of Ashtart at Tyre was a cow, that of 
Baal and Yahwe in Canaan, and of Athtar in South 
Arabia, a buU.^ We cannot, however, press this con- 
sideration, since the bull and cow are found as divine 
symbols in many agricultural communities where there is 
no possibility that an Ishtar or an analogous god had pre- 
ceded. There can be no doubt though that a large Semitic 
element entered into the make-up of the moon god of Ur, 
but the possibility that that Semitic element took on the 
bull symbol through Sumerian influence must be recog- 
nized. The fact that a similar conception prevailed on 
purely Semitic soil in southern Arabia renders, however, 
the supposition of Sumerian influence unnecessary. 5. The 
ideogram by which Sin is represented in many Sumerian 
texts, EN-ZU, means " lord of knowledge, or of might, or 
of wisdom, or of increase," ^ any or all of which are mean- 
ings which would naturally spring from the conceptions 
entertained of Ishtar. 

Perhaps we shall get more light on this matter when 
Mugheir is excavated and its earliest texts recovered, but 
we are at present justified in regarding Ur as a city pre- 
dominantly if not altogether Semitic, and its god as in 
large degree the result of the absorption of an Ishtar,!or more 
probably simply a transformed Semitic goddess. If this be 
the real origin of Sin, the development must have been 
completed very early, for a very archaic text* dating prob- 
ably from before 5500 B.C. seems to call Sin Ab, "father." 

1 See Scheil, Eecueil de traveaux, Vol. XX, p. 62. 

2Cf. Hebraica, Vol. X, p. 31, ZDMG., Vol. XXX, p. 289 (of. Se- 
braica, Vol. X, p. 56), and the articles "Bull" and "Calf, Golden," in 
Hastings's Dictionary of the Bible, Encyc. Bib., and Jewish Encyc. 

8 Cf. Brunnow's List, Nos. 130-137. 

* Cf. below, p. 213, n. 5. The interpretation of the tablet is as yet 
tentative. 



202 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



After the deity of Ur had been identified with the 
moon, the hymns and prayers addressed to him are largely 
occupied with praises of his brightness and other quali- 
ties which were suggested by the brilliance and the 
movements of the moon.^ In the pantheons of the his- 
toric period Sin, like other gods, was called the son of 
Enlil.2 This resulted probably from a long prehistoric 
hegemony on the part of Nippur, Enlil's city, of which 
more will be said below. Either the result of this hege- 
mony, or the fact that Sin was a younger deity, prevented 
him from ever occupying the same exalted position as 
Enlil, or even as Ea. He was later a member of the 
second triad in the pantheons of Babylonia, but not like 
the others of the first.^ 

Taking once more as a point of departure a mythologi- 
cal statement from the pantheon of Shirpurla, we are led 
by the myth that Ningirsu was the son and warrior of Enlil 
to consider next the god of Nippur.* In antiquity his 
shrine at Nippur rivals the shrine of any other Babylonian 
god.^ Among the earliest inscriptions yet published, except 
such as the Blau Monuments, are some by a certain Enshag- 
kushanna, lord of Kengi or Sumir, who before 4500 B.C. 
devoted to Enlil, " king of countries," the spoil of his vic- 
tories over Kish.^ This shows that even at that remote 
period Enlil had come to be regarded far outside the con- 
fines of Nippur as the principal god, and from this time 

1 See, e.g.. King's Babylonian Magic and Sorcery, p. 5. 

2 Cf. Ur-Gur, I R., 1, No. 5, KB., Vol. IIIi, p. 79. 

' The inscriptions of the kings of Ur throw little light on the character 
of Sin beyond the fact that he was regarded as a king (cf. KB., Vol. Ill i, 
pp. 77, 93). The moon god was also worshipped at Harran, hut of the 
origins of his worship there we as yet know nothing. Probably much 
the same history could be written of his worship there as that which we 
have sketched for the moon god of Ur, had we the material. 

* See above, p. 195 ff. 

6 Cf. Hilprecht, OBI, Vol. I, Ft. 2, pp. 44-46, and Peters, Nippur, Vol. 
II, p. 246. 

6Cf. Hilprecht, OBI., Nos. 90-92; Radau, op. cit., pp. 44, 45; and 
Rogers, History of Babylonia and Assyria, Vol. I, p. 351 ff. 



TKANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 203 

onward lie was honored by all worshippers, of whatever 
city, more than any other god.^ Even the rulers of Shir- 
purla made their own god Ningirsu subject to him. This 
fact can, I think, be adequately accounted for only on the 
supposition that Nippur had been in prehistoric time the 
head of a kingdom which included all of Babylonia. 

At a time almost as early, — a time before the Sargonic 
period, — Enlil had a female spouse, Ninlil. Urzaguddu, 
a king of Kish, ^ and Anu-banini, of Lulubi,^ both wor- 
shipped this pair, and in later times they are often grouped 
together. 

In all probability there is in the Enlil of Nippur a large 
Sumerian element. The worship which he received from 
men of all cities is no doubt to be accounted for in part by 
the political supremacy of Nippur, as already suggested, 
but in part too by the fact that he was an old pre-Semitic 
god of the soil. Semites, when first they went into a new 
country, thought it necessary as late as the eighth century 
B.C. to learn the worship of the god of the land* in order 
to reside there safely, and in the earlier times they would 
have this feeling in still larger degree. The Semites in 
coming into Babylonia would therefore adopt, in some 
measure, the worship of its native gods wherever they 
settled, while they kept also the worship of their own 
goddess. If this foreign worship were practically unor- 
ganized, it would make little impression, and would leave 
the worship of the mother goddess comparatively pure ; 
but if it had assumed a definite form, it would, in fusing 

1 Cf. Jastrow, Meligion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 52 ff. 

2 Cf. Hilprecht, OBI., No. 93, and Eadau, op. cit., p. 125, n. 1. 

" Cf. Becueil de traveaux, Vol. XIV, pp. 100-106, and Radau, op. cit., 
p. 177. 

* See 2 Kgs. n^-^i; cf. also Budde, Beligion of Israel to the Exile, 
pp. 53-55. An instance of fusion, not altogether dissimilar, from a much 
later time is found in an Aramaic inscription of the second centuiy b.c. 
from Kappadocia, published in Lidzbarski's Ephemeris far semitische 
Epigraphik, p. 67, which represents the marriage of the Persian religion 
(din MazdianiS) to the god Bel. 



204 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



with the Semitic cult, considerably modify it. At Nippur 
— assuming a Semitic element in the civilization — the 
cult of the mother goddess appears to have been influenced 
by such a foreign element, since as early as 3800 B.C. Enlil 
was not only of the masculine gender, but had also a fe- 
male counterpart, which was simply his own reflection. A 
transformation, which appears not to have been complete 
at Eridu till some two thousand years later, seems to have 
occurred at Nippur before the dawn of history. The pro- 
cess was therefore probably hastened by fusion with a 
foreign god.^ 

When our written records begin, the Semites appear to 
be everywhere dominant in Babylonia ; but, as we have 
seen, the phenomena of the religion compel us to postulate 
a prehistoric kingdom of Nippur, which dominated much 
of the surrounding country. This was probably a Sumer- 
ian kingdom, into which in its later years a large Semitic 
element was infused. If Enlil was originally a Sumerian 
god, and Nippur the head of a Sumerian kingdom, the two 
forces, religious and political, were then present which in 
combination would give Enlil the place at the head of all 
the pantheons which he occupied in the later religious 
history. 

A large Semitic element also entered into the concep- 
tions of Enlil and Ninlil at Nippur. This is shown by 
the following facts : 1. A great variety of phallic symbols 
were found at Nippur in all the levels of the mound back 
to 4000 B.C., or earlier.2 These symbols are the natural 
symbols of a cult like the Ishtar cult, but do not grow so 
naturally out of a purely agricultural civilization. We 
cannot go astray, therefore, in regarding them as the prod- 
uct of a Semitic element of thought, which entered into 
the worship and life at Nippur. 

1 The presence of a non-Semitic element at Nippur is confirmed by the 
faces on the votive tablet of TJr-Enlil, which is of about the same age as 
the inscriptions of Enshagkushanna, or perhaps a little older. See Hil- 
precht, OBI., pi. xvi, and Professor Cope's note, ibid., Pt. 2, p. 48, n. 1. 

2 Peters, Nippur, Vol. II, p. 236 ff. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 205 

An old bilingual incantation contains the following 
Sumerian expressions: AMA A-A dingir EN-LIL, and 
AMA A-A dingir NIN-LIL, i.e. "the mother-father 
Enlil," and "the mother-father Ninlil."i The point of 
this expression is not simply that Enlil and Ninlil were 
thought of as a pair of parents,^ but that the qualities of 
father and mother both are actually attributed to both 
Enlil and Ninlil.^ This points to the presence at Nippur 
of a mother goddess who for a time almost monopolized 
the thoughts of the worshippers, and who was gradually 
fused with a masculine deity, with the result that for a 
time, as in Lugaltarsi's inscription,* both masculine and 
feminine qualities were attributed to the same deity. 
Enlil was, therefore, probably originally a Sumerian earth 
goddess, who by the warlike character of his worshippers 
was transformed to a god, and later given a consort. The 
confusion of sex probably did not last as long as in the 
case of the deities Ea and Sin, which were of almost pure 
Semitic origin, but this little expression in the incantation, 
a fossil from past strata of thought, has transmitted to us 
the evidence of its existence. By the time when written 
records began Enlil and Ninlil were fairly well defined, 
though even then a Semite sometimes addressed the whole 
deity under the name of Ninlil.^ Another point, though 
it is, as we have seen, indeterminate, is found in the fact 
that Enlil and Ninlil are in an old bilingual hymn repre- 
sented under the symbols of an ox and a cow, like Sin and 
Ishtar.s 

1 IV R., 1, col. ii, 11. 23-28. 

2 Delitzsoh, Assyrisches Worterbuch, p. 20. 

8 Cf. my article "An Androgynous Babylonian Divinity," in JAOS., 
Vol. XXI,2 p. 186 ff. 

* See above, p. 181. 

6 Cf. Winckler's Untersuchungen, p. 157, No. 9 ; KB., Vol. III,i p. 69, 
and Radau, op. cit, p. 37, and p. 125, n. 

s See Reisner's Snmerisch-babylonische Hymnennach Thontafeln grie- 
chischer Zeit in the Berlin Museum's MUtheilungen, Heft X, p. 19, 
11. 71-74 ; cf. the translation in Dr. Banks's dissertation, Sumerisch-baby- 
lonische Hymnen, Leipzig, 1897, p. 23. 



206 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



The fusion of Semitic and non-Semitic elements simply- 
hastened, as has been pointed out, the evolution which the 
processes of social transformation carried on more slowly 
elsewhere. 

The commanding place which Enlil held in the Baby- 
lonian pantheon in the earliest period is illustrated by the 
way in which Enshagkushanna before 4500 B.C. presented 
to him, as noted above, the spoil of his war with Kish, 
although so far as appears the seat of Enshagkushanna's 
government was in the south; and also, by the way 
Eannadu of Shirpurla some three centuries later claims 
that Enlil (not Ningursu) gave him victory over the 
people of Gishban.i 

The view we have been led to take of these gods throws 
light on the place which Enlil and Ea afterwards held as 
the two most prominent members of the triad, Anu, Bel 
(Enlil), and Ea. In this triad, Bel was the god of the 
earth, and Ea of the deep. Anu was in part an abstrac- 
tion added at a later time to represent the third most obvi- 
ous part of the universe. Bel (Enlil), the old god of the 
country, though largely permeated by Semitic conceptions, 
naturally took the lead, because the Sumerian kingdom 
antedated the Semitic ; while Ea, the oldest Semitic god 
in Babylonia, whose coming brought the artificial cul- 
ture of the date-palm and infused new elements into the 
civilization, whose home was on the shore of the great 
water, assumed naturally a place of importance next to 
Bel. When the two were united in the first triad, the lead- 
ing Sumerian and the leading Semitic deities, whose hosts 
had no doubt in the earlier days struggled in many a 
bloody conflict, were brought into harmonious accord. 

Because of a possible connection with the pantheon of 

1 CTBM., Ft. VII, No. 23580, col. ii, 11. 1-7. It reads : (1) E-AN- 
NA-DU MEN (2) SA UMUN GAL (3) dingir EN-LIL-LAL (4) E-NA 
SUM (5) NAM-E-NA-TA KUD (6) GAL GIS H-B AN-/ri-KID (7) E- 
AN-NA-DXJ-RA, i.e., "Eannadu am I. The temple of the great lord 
Enlil, its greatness I established. On account of its greatness he subdued 
the men of Gishban to Eannadu." 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 207 

Shirpurla, the next deity to be considered is the god Mar- 
duk of Babylon, with his spouse Sarpanit. BalP and 
Hommel ^ have suggested, in consequence of a passage in 
an old hymn which identifies Gishgalla with Babylon,^ 
that the Gishgalla of the kingdom of Shirpurla was really 
the same place as the Babylon of later history. As 
Amiaud pointed* out, Gudea speaks of the whole of Shir- 
purla as a city,^ a fact which precludes the possibility that 
one of its quarters was as far away as Babylon. The 
theory also encounters other objections which are equally 
fatal to it. It is probable that the ideogram which Hom- 
mel and Amiaud read Gishgalla should be read Erim.^ 
Gishgalla is probably another sign.'^ Eannadu, about 
4100 B.C., tells us of his conquest over a city, the name 
of which he represents by this latter ideogram, and which 
is probably, therefore, to be read Gishgalla.^ As he calls 
himself king of Shirpurla, it was clearly a town outside 
of that place. He gives us no indication of where it was 
situated, but from the fact that the ideogram Gishgalla 
also denoted in later times the direction " south," ^ it is 

1 FSB A., Vol. XV, p. 53 ff. 

'^ FSBA., Vol. XV, p. 108 ff. 

« IV R., 46. 

* Becords of the Past, New Series, Vol. I, p. 43. 

^ De Sarzec's Decouvertes, pi. 14, col. 1, 11. 14, 15. 

« Cf. Thureau Dangin, Becherches, No. 359. While he there reads the 
sign GISHGAL, he reads BRIM in Bevue semitique, Vol. V, p. 67. As he 
himself points out (Becherches, No. 361), another sign is really equivalent 
to GISHGAL, and the two signs cannot he identical. This one, as Jensen 
suggested (KB., Vol. IIF, p. 3 ff.), is probably to be read ERIM (Briin- 
now's List, No. 949), at least provisionally. 

' Thureau Dangin's Becherches, No. 361, and Brunnow's List, No. 938. 

8 Cf. the four texts in GTBM., Pt. IX, pis. 1 and 2, col. ii of each text ; 
cf. also Galet A, Bev. d'assyr., Vol. IV, pi. 1, col. ill, 11. 17-19 ; Cf . Thureau 
Dangin in Bev. sem.. Vol. V, p. 68, and Radau, op. cit., p. 84. The 
passage reads: TU-SU-BI SUM kur ELAM Jci, TU-SU-BI SUM GIS- 
GALLA ki, TU-SU-BI SUM GIS-BAN ki, TU-SU-BI SUM URU ki ; 
i.e., " Into his power was given Elam ; into his power was given Gishgalla ; 
into his power was given Gishban ; into his power was given Ur." 

9 See Brunnow's List, No. 947. It probably acquired this meaning, as 
the word Negebh did in Hebrew, by being a place southward of some 



208 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



altogether improbable that Gishgalla was as far north 
as Babylon. It may be that Babylon was a colony of this 
Gishgalla. That would afford only an indirect connection 
with Shirpurla, — Gishgalla being not a part of Shirpurla 
like Erim, but an independent town conquered by Shir- 
purla in the historical period. 

It is clear, therefore, that Hommel's identification of 
Babylon with Gishgalla, even if interpreted to mean that 
Babylon was a colony of the latter, will throw little light 
on the nature of the god Marduk, since we have no infor- 
mation whatever as to the gods of Gishgalla. If there be 
any connection between the two, the deity of Babylon 
might throw light on the religion of Gishgalla, but not 
that of Gishgalla upon Babylon. 

From other considerations, however, it can be shown that 
Marduk is in all probability a Semitic god, evolved, like the 
Semitic gods already discussed, out of a preceding Ishtar. 
The considerations which support this view are as follows : — 

1. Marduk is called in the hymns "the life giver," i 
" possessor of the foundation of life,"^ and is asked to give 
life.^ In other words, he is, like Ishtar, a deity of life. 
2. Nebuchadnezzar tells us* that the Zagmukhu, which 
in the time of Gudea was, as we have seen, a festival of 
Bau, was at Babylon a festival of Marduk. It is not 
necessary to suppose with Jastrow ^ that it was transferred 
to Marduk ; this festival of the yeaning time in spring is 
another link connecting Marduk with the Ishtar from 
which he sprang.^ 3. Marduk comes first to our knowl- 
edge in the inscriptions of Sumula-ilu and Khammurabi, 

other important place in Babylonia, so that Gishgallaward came to mean 
southward. 

iIV R., 29, No. 1, Eev. 11. 5, 6 (cf. Sayce, Hihhert Lectures, p. 502). 

^Ibid., Obv. 1. 38 (cf. Sayce, ibid., p. 501). 

»IV R., 18, No. 2, Rev. 1. 12 (cf. Sayce, op. cit., p. 489). 

*I R., 54, col. ii, 54 fi. (cf. Jensen, Kosmologie, p. 84 fl., and KB., 
Vol. Ill 2, p. 15). 

^ Beligion of Babylonia and Assyria, pp. 121 , 631. 

6 See above, p. 109 ff. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 209 



kings who belonged, as all recognize, to a Semitic dynasty. 
Their god would be a Semitic god, so that it is in conse- 
quence more than probable that Marduk is developed from 
the Semitic mother goddess like other Semitic deities. 

From the time of Khammurabi Marduk was the chief 
deity in the eyes of all Babjdonians. They worshipped 
other gods as the inhabitants of other cities had done, but 
unlike them, they practically placed Marduk, not Enlil, 
first. Jastrow has already pointed out^ how, in conse- 
quence of this, Marduk absorbed in time many of the 
attributes of Bel (Enlil) and even of Ea. This movement 
perhaps had its origin in a myth that Marduk was the son 
of Ea.2 Sayce infers from this^ that Babylon was origi- 
nally a colony of Eridu. This can hardly have been the 
case, for, as will be pointed out below,* the myth was 
probably in the first place a myth of Nabu which Marduk 
absorbed. The name Marduk is with some probability 
explained as "young" or "early sun,"^ i.e., "child of the 
day,"^ and perhaps arose from the association of the 
primitive Semitic goddess at Babylon with the sun. 

Marduk had a consort, Sarpanitum, who first appears in 
the reign of Sumula-ilu about 2360 B.C.''' Her name, 
according to Delitzsch,^ comes, like that of Marduk, from 
her solar character, and means "silver brightness." 
In the historical inscriptions she appears to have been 

1 Meligion of Babylon and Assyria, p. 117 ff. 

2Cf. Winckler, Vntersuckungen, p. 140, and KB., Vol. IIP, p. 131. 

' Hihhert Lectures, p. 104. 

* See below, p. 212, and on the subjugation of Nabu to Marduk, Jastrow, 
op. cit., of. 126 ff. 

6 Sayoe, op. cit. , p. 98, Jensen, Kosmologie, p. 88, and Jastrow, op. cit., 
p. 119. 

6Delitzsoli, BA., Vol. II, p. 623 n. 

'King's Letters and Inscriptions of HammuraM, No. 101, ool. i, 1. 41 ; 
cf. Vol. Ill, p. 218 ff. 

' lUd., Contra, cf. Hal^vy, Becherches critique, p. 260, and Muss- 
Amolt in JBL., Vol. XI, p. 165. In consequence of a folk etymology 
the name of the goddess was sometimes written Ziru-bani-ti, or "creator 
of seed." (Cf. 11 R., 67^2.) 
p 



210 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



little more than a reflection of Marduk, but that she was 
originally more than that appears from the fact that 
NeWchadnezzar appeals to her as the goddess of child- 
bearing.i That she always played a large role in the 
popular imagination is shown by the fact that in the 
middle Babylonian period the image of a nude goddess 
holding her breasts was very popular in Babylonian art.^ 
These are in all probability representations of Sarpanit, 
and indicate that in the rise of the god Marduk the femi- 
nine side of the old mother goddess lost nothing of her 
popularity. This is further confirmed by what Herodotus 
and Strabo tell us of her service by the women of Baby- 
lon.^ Sarpanitum was then the feminine counterpart of 
Marduk, as Damkina was the feminine counterpart of Ea. 
The pair at Babylon, as at Eridu, were probably produced 
by the differentiation of the old mother goddess Ishtar. 
If Babylon were a colony of Gishgalla, this conclusion 
would involve the view that the latter city was also a 
Semitic settlement. 

Another god the origin of whose worship may with 
some plausibility be traced through Shirpurla is Nabu, 
the god of the city Borsippa. Hommel has suggested* 
that the Kinnir, which is equated with Borsippa in the 
hymn which calls Babylon Gishgalla,^ is the same town as 
that mentioned in the inscription of Ur-Bau as Kinunir,^ 
which Hommel declares was situated in Gishgalla. The 
enthusiasm of a discoverer has here led Hommel into a 
slight error, for Ur-Bau does not say that Kinunir was 

1 Oppert, Expedition en Mesopotamie, Vol. II, p. 295 ; Eebraica, Vol. 
X, pp. 18, 19. 

2 Cf. Ward in American Journal of Archaeology, 1900, pp. 291, 292. 

8 See Herodotus, Bk. I, 199; Strabo, Bk. XVI, 1, 20; Apocryphal 
Epistle of Jeremiah, vs. 42, 43 ; cf. Hebraica, Vol. X, pp. 20, 21, and 
J£L., Vol. X, p. 79 ff. 

* P8BA., Vol. XV, p. 108. 

nVR., 46, cf. 11. 15, 16. 

^ De Sarzec's Decouvertes, pi. 8, col. vl, 11. 9-11. Cf. Amiaud in Becords 
of the Fast, New Ser., Vol. I, p. 77, and Jensen, KB., Vol. IIJi, pp. 
24, 25. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 211 

situated in Gisligalla, but in Girsu. It is natural to see in 
Kinnir or Borsippa a colony from Girsu. The emigrants 
from Kinunir, which would seem to have been a portion 
or suburb of Girsu, would of course take with them the 
worship of their deity. Ur-Bau tells us that the deity of 
Kinunir was the goddess Dumuzizuab^ (i.e., "the living 
child of the abyss," or " the Tammuz of the deep ") . He 
makes it clear that she was a goddess by calling her "lady 
of Kinunir." 2 

Now if we take Hommel's identification to mean that 
Borsippa was a colony from this portion of Girsu, then the 
goddess " Tammuz of the deep " must have been the real 
deity of Borsippa out of which Nabu was developed by 
processes with which we are already familiar. That Nabu 
had some such genesis is made probable by an old hymn 
which makes him a water god and a god of fertility, such 
as we have seen Ishtar to be.^ This view is further con- 
firmed by a list of gods * in which Nabu is identified with 
a deity of the island Dilmun, an island in the Persian Gulf 
near Bahrein." It would seem, therefore, that the people 
of Kinunir brought their goddess from one of the islands 
of the Persian Gulf, to which they had previously mi- 
grated from Arabia, and settled in or near Girsu, and that 
thence a band moved onward to Borsippa. The settlement 
at Girsu was made before the time of Eannadu, for he was 
acquainted with their deity. ^ 

The proof that Nabu originated in this way is only enough 
to furnish a basis for conjecture, but in the light of the an- 
alogies we have traced elsewhere it seems highly probable. 

1 De Sarzec, ibid. 

2 Jensen's idea that Dumuzizuab must be a god (KB., Vol. 1U\ p. 25 n.) 
is, if the line of reasoning in the preceding pages be at all correct, 
groundless. 

» IV R., 14, No. 3, 11. 10-14. Cf. Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, p. 448. 

• II R., 60, 30 ; cf. also 64, 66, and Brunnow's List, 5872. 

• Cf. Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, p. 114, n. 1. 

• See Bevue d^assyriologie, Vol. IV, pi. 1, col. ii, 1. 9 ; cf. also Sevue 
semitique, Vol. V, p. 67, and Radau, Early Babylonian History, p. 84. 



212 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



The name " Living child of the deep " — Dumuzizuab, 
— would naturally suggest a connection of this goddess, 
and hence of Nabu, with Ea. This probably took first the 
form of a myth which made Nabu the son of Ea, which 
would be " child of the deep " put into slightly different 
terms — a myth which, as has been suggested, was proba- 
bly afterward appropriated by Marduk.^ It was probably 
this genesis of Nabu and his association with Ea, the god 
of wisdom, which afterward made Nabu the god of learn- 
ing and wisdom to the Babylonians and Assyrians. 

Nabu does not appear in extant inscriptions till the time 
of Khammurabi,^ and Jastrow supposes that that monarch 
tried to suppress his worship in favor of that of Marduk.^ 
The date of his appearance and his functions as god of 
fertility and wisdom all point to such an origin as has 
here been supposed.* His consort Tashmit is of still 
later origin, and is clearly only a feminine counterpart 
of Nabu. Her name means " hearing " or " revelation," 
and is derived from Nabu's function as god of wisdom. 
Her origin is therefore quite parallel to that of Damkina 
from Ea. 

The worship of the god Shamash, as we know it from 
the inscriptions, was the native religion of two cities of 
ancient Babylonia, Larsa and Agade, or Sippar. Of the 
details of this worship in either city we know very little. 
At Larsa, Ur-Gur, king of Ur about 2500 B.C., repaired the 
temple of Shamash,^ as did also Khammurabi of Babylon 
some two hundred years later.^ The latter calls the Sha- 

1 Above, p. 209. 

^ KB., Vol. lili, p. 123. 

5 See Jastrow's Beligion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 125 ff. 

* Jensen's endeavor to make Nabu a sun god {Kosmologie, p. 239) cer- 
tainly does not explain all the functions ascribed to him. The goddess 
Erua, whom Sayce (Sibbert Lectures, p. Ill ff.) connects with Sarpanit and 
Tashmit, and whom Jastrow (op. cit., p. 130) supposes to be the older con- 
sort of Nabu, is probably the goddess Dumuzizuab under another name. 

•5 Cf. I R., No. 7 ; also KB., Vol. IIIi, p. 79. 

" See King's Letters and Inscriptions of Hammurabi, No. 62. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 213 

masli of Larsa "lord of heaven and earth " and "shepherd " ^ 
— expressions also used of the other Shamash. It is hard 
to say whether the worship at Larsa or at Agade is the 
older. If, as Jastrow supposes,^ antiquity and fame went 
hand in hand in Babylonia, he is right in the view that the 
palm of antiquity should be ascribed to Agade. In this 
latter city we find the worship of Shamash and Ishtar side 
by side in the inscriptions of Sargon of Agade, about 
3800 B.c.^ At that early time the worship of Shamash 
had begun to overshadow somewhat the worship of Ishtar, 
for we find Sargon making offerings and appeals to him in 
which the goddess is not included.* 

A very archaic tablet in the E. A. Hoffmann collection 
at the General Theological Seminary in New York, which 
records the gift of a field to a deity, which has not yet been 
identified, speaks of Shamash as " the lady who pours forth 
brightness, the mistress." There is nothing in the tablet 
except a sign which is still unidentified to indicate whence 
the tablet comes ; we cannot tell, therefore, whether it re- 
fers to the Shamash of Agade or of Larsa. If, however, I 
interpret it correctly (a matter of some doubt in the case 
of writing as old as any yet discovered), it not only records 
a time when Shamash was a goddess, but shows that even 
then another deity, which is possibly Ishtar, was worshipped 
beside her.^ Analogy makes it probable that Shamash was 

1 Cf. King, ibid., 1. 2. ^ Beligion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 70. 

3 Cf. Hilprecht's OBI., No. 1, and Kadau, op. cit., p. 167 fe. 

* Cf. PSBA., Vol. VII, p. 66, and KB., Vol. Ill', pp. 100, 101 ; also 
Hilprecht, OBI., No. 2, and Radau, op. cit., p. 170. 

' The inscription which is unpublished I interpret as follows : — 

Col. I, 1. IIIMV GANA DUK-KA DINGIR ?-B:I LAG 
2. SAL-LAL-TUR 

Col. II, 1. IIIMVICL URTU-NI-A SIG LIK-A 

2. IIIMVICL GAL PI NER-A DA-KU GUR DIMMENA 
BABBAR NIN-A TAB BAR UMUN(?) 

^ '• " 3005 Bur of a field, (a bed) of clay (?), to the god of 7 presented 
''^ Sallaltur. "•'• 36,050 cubits in its Akkadward side, the lower (side), 
from the beginning ; ^- 36,050 cubits running along the breadth of the zig- 
gurat to the side of the great terrace of Shamash, the lady, who pours 
forth brightness, the mistress (?)." [Continued on p. 214.] 



214 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



here a goddess beside whom Ishtar was worshipped. 
Whether Shamash was a Sumerian goddess and Ishtar a 
Semitic, we have no means of determining. Shamash may 
have been an epitliet of Ishtar which hardened, as epithets 
so often did afterward, into a separate deity ; or two tribes, 
a Semitic and a Sumerian, may have composed the commu- 
nity from which our inscription comes, and Shamash may 
have been a Sumerian corn goddess, though this latter sup- 
position is not probable. However this may be, Shamash 
in later times was always a god. Perhaps the Semitic 
settlement at Agade was very old, or the foreign influence 
there was very strong. At all events, by the time of Sargon 
of Agade, about 3800 B.C., Shamash was a masculine deity. 
Although Ishtar appears by his side in some of the inscrip- 
tions of Sargon,^ yet he could invoke Shamash without 
mentioning her. Probably, therefore, Shamash was a 
Semitic deity. The fact that we have found the worship 
of Shamash at Shirpurla, also a Semitic community, points 
in the same direction. ^ 

At times his worship so overshadowed that of the 
goddess that Khammurabi as well as Sargon mentions 
Shamash alone,^ but an old hymn, in which the goddess is 
called Malkatu,* shows us the worship of the two in con- 
Col. Ill, 1. IIIMVIC E BABBAR LUG AB TAB BAR 

2. IIIMVICL BURU KUR IR(?) DU(?) BAD 

3. LIK-A GAR-A 

4. GIR(?) SAG(?) 

™' '• " 36,000 cubits (along) tlie temple of Shamash, the messenger of the 
father who pours forth brightness {i.e. Sin) ; ^-36,050 cubits below(?) 
the mountain where the abode(?) of Ishtar (??) is, '• to the beginning ; for 
making brick. •• May he strengthen, may he bless ! " 

1 Cf. OBI., No. 1, and Radau, op. cit., 168, 169. 

2 See, for example, Eannadu in De Sarzeo's Decouvertes, pi. 4, bis, col. 
VII, 11. 7, 8. 

» See KB., Vol. Ill', pp. 106-125, and Radau, op. cit., p. 169 ff. 

* See Haupt's ASKT., p. 122 ff. For translations, Zimmern's Babylo- 
nische Bicsspsalmen, p. 51 ff., and Hebraica, Vol. X, p. 24 ff. On the ap- 
plication of the name Malkatu to the goddess, see Schrader's article in 
ZA., Vol. Ill, p.353fl. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 215 

junction, and in the inscriptions of Nabonidos we see them 
at the close of Babylonian history reigning as a united pair.^ 
Between these extremes various modifications may have 
taken place. One of them we can trace. In the inscrip- 
tion of Nabu-apal-iddin (about 880 B.C.), Malik and Bu- 
nini^ appear to be the attendants of Shamash, who rules 
above and apart from them. Here Malik was no doubt 
originally an epithet of Shamash, while Bunini is perhaps 
another name for Ishtar. 

Ishtar at Agade probably never quite lost her identity 
in Shamash,^ although at times she could be ignored. 
It was perhaps this goddess to whom the name Nin- 
Akkad, or " Lady of Accad," is given in an old list of 
deities,* though it is possible that that title is a sur- 
vival from the time when " Lady " was an epithet of 
Shamash. 

Not far east of Babylon, where the modern mound of 
Tell-Ibrahim now is, lay the ancient city of Gudua or 
Kutu ^ (Kutha), of which the tutelary deity was Nergal.^ 
His principal temple was called Eshidlam. How old the 
city was we have no means of knowing. The worship of 
Nergal first comes to light in the inscriptions of Dungi, 
king of Ur about 2450 B.C., who repaired his temple.^ 
The god was then known as Shidlam-ta-e-a,^ or " the god 
who goes forth from Eshidlam," a name which appears 
later in the anipu texts published by Zimmeru.^ The 

1 Cf. V R., 65, col. i, 1. 35 (also KB., Vol. IIP, pp. 110, 111), and col. 
ii, 1. 12 {KB. as above, pp. 112, 113) ; also V R. 61, col. i, 11. 7 and 46 ; 
col. ii, 11. 5 and 40 (cf. Hehraica, Vol. X, p. 25). 

2 Cf. V R., 60, KB., Vol. nil, pp. I74_i83, and Jastrow's Beligion of 
Babylonia and Assyria, p. 176 ff. 

3 See the evidence collected in Hebraica, Vol. X, pp. 24, 25. 

4 See III R., 66, col. iii, 1. 26, rev. col. v, 11. 27, 35. 
6 See Delitzsch's Wo lag das Paradies ? p. 218. 

6 Cf. II R. 61, col. ii, 1. 53, and 2 Kgs. n^«. 
' CTBM., Ft. IX, No. 35389, and KB., Vol. IIH, pp. 80, 81. 
8 Cf. Brunnovp, List, No. 7873. 

° Cf. his Beitrdge zur Kentniss der babylonischen Beligion, pp. 149, 
151, 169, 165, 169, and the corresponding plates of cuneiform text. 



216 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



temple was also repaired at another time by Sin-gamil, 
another king of Ur.^ 

When Nergal appears in the syncretistic pantheons of 
later times, he had been assigned the twofold function of 
god of the underworld and the god of death-bringing war 
and pestilence.^ Jensen,^ who is followed by Jastrow,* 
believes that Nergal was originally a god of the glowing 
flame of the sun, and that his destructive functions are to 
be attributed to that fact. As the god of destruction, they 
hold that he became the god of the underworld. 

It may well be doubted whether this view will satisfac- 
torily explain all the facts. The solar explanation of 
deities which are ancient are, I believe, never able to lead 
us to the most primitive character of the god. Men 
thought of objects on the earth, and identified their gods 
with them before they thought of identifying them with 
anything in the far-off sky. If Nergal was the deity of 
Kutha in that early time when each city was independent 
and had its own god, it is certainly unlikely that they 
then identified him with the glowing heat of the sun. It 
is much more probable that he was then an agricultural 
god, a deity of the soil and the giver of fertility. When 
the gods of the various cities were grouped in a pantheon, 
Enlil of Nippur, who was also a god of the soil, took pre- 
cedence of Nergal, no doubt because Nippur was a more 
powerful city. Nergal could of course not be assigned 
the same functions, but was still connected with the earth, 
though limited in his sphere by being assigned to the 
underworld. As lord of the region of the dead he would 
naturally be conceived as eager to people his realm, and 
so become in time the god of war and pestilence — forces 
which cause death. This might naturally lead also to his 
identification with the glowing heat of the sun. We thus, 

1 KB., Vol. im, pp. 84, 85. 

2 IV R. 26, No. 1. 

' Kosmologie, pp. 476-487. 

* Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 66 fE. 



TRANSFOEMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 217 

I believe, have a genesis for Nergal more probable than 
that suggested by Jensen. 

So far as appears Nergal was a Sumerian god. There 
is no trace, in the scanty information concerning him 
which has come down to us, of the peculiar characteristics 
of fertility which attach to all the chief Semitic deities. 
Delitzsch long ago called Kutha one of the oldest centres 
of Sumerian civilization,^ and that still seems the more 
probable view. This old Sumerian agricultural god was 
adopted by the Semites and assigned a place in their pan- 
theon as the god of the underworld. ^ The etymology of 
his name is uncertain. ^ 

Another people whose home lay to the eastward of 
Babylon across the Tigris were the Guti, sometimes 
called the Suti.* A Semitic king of this country has left 
us an inscription which dates from 3800 B.C. or earlier.^ 
In this inscription the monarch invokes the deities, Guti, 
Ishtar, and Sin. From what we have already learned of 
the god Sin and the religious syncretism of this period, 
it is clear that this deity was not native to the Guti. Of 
the other two, Ishtar is of course our old Semitic goddess. 
From a list of Babylonian deities which comes to us from 
the library of Assurbanipal,^ we learn that the worship of 
Ishtar was maintained here in much of its primitive purity 
down to a much later time. In our extant inscriptions 
the god Guti does not, so far as I have observed, appear 
again. This one glimpse of him makes upon one the 

1 Faradies, p. 217. 

2 By the transportation of Kutheans to Palestine by Sargon (2 Kgs. 
17^*"'*), the worship of Nergal was introduced among the western Semites. 
It seems to have spread from Samaria to Sidon, and thence was carried 
by Sidonian emigrants to Athens. See CIS., Pt. I, Vol. I, No. 119. 

3 See Jensen and Jastrow as cited above. 

4 Cf. Delitzsch, Faradies, pp. 233-2.37. 

5 Cf. Winokler, ZA., Vol. IV, p. 406 ; Hilprecht, OBI., p. 12 ff. ; Radaii, 
Early Babylonian History, p. 175 ff., and Rogers, History of Babylonia 
and Assyria, Vol. I, p. 359 ff. 

6 III R. 66, reverse col. vi, 11. 18-26. Cf. translation and comments in 
Hebraica, Vol. X, p. 26 ff. 



218 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



impression that he was probably the pre-Semitic god of 
the country Guti, who had been adopted by the Semitic 
immigrants in accord with conceptions with which we are 
already familiar, and associated with their goddess. 

Another of the petty states of ancient Babylonia of the 
god of which we get a glimpse in the inscriptions is Gish- 
ban, a place which as Thureau Dangin has shown lay just 
north of the Shatt-el-Khai.^ We learn from the inscription 
of Lugalzaggisi that the chief god of this place was repre- 
sented in writing by the two signs SI-ELTEG(?), which 
mean " the one who pours forth grain," ^ but which a much 
later tablet defines as Mdaba.^ The emblem of Nidaba 
was the waving grain ; for in the Gilgamish epic, the un- 
kempt hair of the wild man, Eabani, is said to have grown 
as luxuriously as Nidaba.* We know, therefore, that this 
deity was an agricultural deity, and a giver of fertility. 
Lugalzaggisi, whom Hilprecht believes to be a Semite be- 
cause of Semitisms in his inscription,^ calls himself a son 
brought up by this deity. There is no direct evidence in 
the inscription as to whether Nidaba was masculine or 
feminine, but grain deities are so often feminine, that 
whether Gishban was a Semitic settlement or not, it is 
probable that Nidaba was a goddess or developed out of a 
goddess. The culture either of Arabia or of Mesopotamia 
might, so far as we can tell, have produced this deity. 
We must leave the origin of this goddess, therefore, to be 
determined when further inscriptions have arisen from the 
dust to throw light on her character. 

The origin of the god Anu is shrouded in great ob- 
scurity. From the time of Gudea^ onward, and probably 

1 See Comptes rendus de V academic des inscriptions et belles-lettres, 
Vol. XXIV, (1896), p. 593 ff. and Bevue d'assyriologie, Vol. IV, p. 41. 
^ See Briinnow's List, Nos. 7433 and 4447. 

• Brunnow, op. cit., No. 7453. 

* Haupt, Nimrodepos, p. 8, 1. 37 ; cf. Jensen in KB., Vol. VI, p. 121, 
who renders Nidaba by Weizen " Wheat." 

6 OBI., Pt. II, p. 55. 

' See Statute B (De Sarzec, Decouvertes, pis. 16-20), col. viil, 1. 45 ff., 
and KB., Vol. Ill', p. 4fi, 47. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 219 

from the time of Anu-baniui,^ some eight hundred years 
before Gudea, Anu in theory stood at the head of the 
Babylonian pantheon. We are, however, unable to con- 
nect his name with any city the political importance of 
which would help to give him this commanding position. 
We learn from an inscription of Nebuchadnezzar I ^ (about 
1130 B.C.) that the city Der, situated on the Tigris,^ was 
a city of Anu ; but this city plays no part, so far as we 
know, in early Babylonian history, and the god can hardly 
have been placed at the head of the pantheon in conse- 
quence of its importance. It is probable, as Jastrow has 
suggested,* that he was given this position as the result 
of those abstract and more scholastic conceptions which 
resulted in the formation of the first triad, Anu, Bel, and 
Ea, the gods of heaven, earth, and the deep, of which 
the god of heaven, Anu, naturally took the first place. 
Jastrow supports this view by the supposition that the 
heavens were not really personified as a god till about 
the time of Khammurabi. He reaches this conclusion in 
part because of the fact that in passages which are often 
interpreted as referring to Anu the determinative for god 
is not prefixed to the name of the deit3^ 

This latter fact does not necessarily support the view 
in question, but is open to another explanation. The 
name Anu was written by the sign an with a phonetic 
complement. An had also as a determinative the value 
dingir (ilu), and was placed before the names of gods. 
When repeated it stood for the plural "gods." To write 
it twice for the name of Anu would suggest to the reader 
a plural, and tend to create confusion ; it may have been 
omitted from the name of Anu for this reason. It is true 

1 See JRecueil de traveaux, Vol. XIV, pp. 100-106, and Radau, Early 
Babylonian History, p. 177 ff. 

2 See Hilpreclit's Freibrief Nebuchadnezzars I, 1. 14, and Peiser in 
KB, Vol. IIF, pp. 164, 165. 

3 Hilprecht, OBI., No. 83, 1. 2, Assyriaca, pp. 10, 11, and Peiser, KB., 
Vol. IV, pp. 64, 65. 

* Beliyion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 80 ff. 



220 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



that in a number of passages in Lugalzaggisi, Gudea, etc.,^ 
it is possible to translate the sign as an adjective as Jas- 
trow would, but in the inscription of the king of Lulubi, 
who, before 3800 B.C., erected an inscribed stele in the 
mountains near the modern town of Zohab,^ such is not 
the case. Anu and Anat were then already deities at the 
head of Anu-banini's pantheon.^ Not only so, but the 
king bears the name Anu-banini ("Anu is our begetter"), 
a name which suggests that some chthonic god of fer- 
tility — a god originally connected with some tribe or place 
— had been identified with the heavenly expanse, so that 
an earthly history really lay back of this celestial deity. 

The name of the Semitic king, together with the fact 
that Anu and Anat stand at the head of his pantheon, 
suggests the view that this pair may have been developed 
out of an Ishtar at Lulubi, as Ea and Damkina were at 
Eridu. This hypothesis cannot, in consequence of the 
scantiness of our present information, be either proved or 
disproved. It is also possible that Anu may have been 
some pre-Semitic god of Lulubi, whose worship the Semites 
had adopted on coming to the country ; but if so, they 
had probably merged the cult of their own goddess with 
him till she became Anat, so that by the time of Lulubi 
the history of Anu and Anat was parallel to that of Enlil 
and Ninlil at Nippur. It is at all events probable that 
Anu resulted from the identification of an earthly deity 
with the sky, and was at the first no more of an abstrac- 
tion than Sin and Shamash were. 

1 See Hilprecht, OBI., No. 87, col. i, 1. 5 ; De Sarzec, Decouvertes, pi. 
13, Nos. 1, 2, col. i, 1. 3 ; col. ii, 1. 15; and pi. 13, No. 4, col. i, 1. 3. See 
also Thureau Dangin in Eev. semitique, Vol. V, p. 269 ; Amiaud in Bee. 
of Past, New Series, Vol. II, pp. 92, 93, and 103 ; also Eadau, op. cit., pp. 
152, 202, 204, 209, 257, 267, 280, and 281. The determinative is not infre- 
quently omitted, however, before the names of deities, especially in the 
older inscriptions. 

2 Rogers, History of Babylonia and Assyria, Vol. I, p. 360 ff. , and 
Radau, op. cit., p. 177 ff. 

' It is impossible in this inscription to translate in any other way thaa 
as the name of a god. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 221 

It seems clear from the preceding discussion that the 
application of our economic-religious test to the gods of 
Babylonia sheds a little light on what was Semitic in 
ancient Babylonia, and what may with plausibility be 
claimed as non-Semitic. The test cannot at present be 
applied throughout in consequence of the fragmentary 
character of the material, nor is it a test which will in all 
cases yield perfectly definite results. It is one, notwith- 
standing, which should be applied conjointly with linguis- 
tic tests, and in the mixed problem of Babylonian origins 
it proves its worth. If it leads us at times to determine 
the boundaries of nationality somewhat differently than 
we should from linguistic evidence alone, that is only a 
tribute to its value. 

About the middle of the nineteenth century B.C. the 
written records of the Assyrian people whose home lay to 
the north of Babylon begin. This kingdom was primarily 
the dominion of the city of Ashur. The Assyrian empire, 
like the Roman, resulted from the dominion of a single 
city. This city was the city of the god Ashur, who thus 
became the national god of the Assyrians.^ The Assyrian 
was even more than most of the empires of antiquity a 
well-organized fighting machine, and, as all the statements 
about Ashur occur in inscriptions written after the era of 
conquest began, they necessarily represent Ashur as a god 
of war.2 As a local deity he must originally have pos- 
sessed all the functions of a local god, among which would 
be in an agricultural community those of fertility. Some 
recollection of this has survived in the language of Assur- 
banipal, who calls himself the offspring of Ashur and 

» The name of the city Ashur appears originally to have been derived 
from the name of the god. This is not so strange as Jastrow (pp. cit., 
p. 196) thinks. The same was true of NinS (see above, p. 155 ff.), and 
probably Nineveh (see belovf). Eridu, Ur, and Nippur are represented 
by the same ideograms as Ea, Sin, and Enlil, showing that at some time 
the names of these gods and their cities were the same. 

2 For a statement of this phase of Ashur, see Jastrow's Religion of 
Babylonia and Assyria, p. 193 ff. 



222 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



Ishtar.^ With him the expression was perhaps somewhat 
figurative, but it points to a primitive conception of these 
gods similar to that underlying Talab Riyam and Shams 
in south Arabia, whose worshippers regarded them as 
their parents.^ 

Ashur was, so far as appears, a purely Semitic town, 
and although there existed in it a temple of Anu and 
Ramman^ which was built before our written records be- 
gin, the worship of these gods must have been a later im- 
portation than the worship of that deity for whom the 
city was named. The god Ashur cannot be connected 
with either of these since he is never connected with any 
of the elemental powers of nature. Nineveh and Arbela 
were founded by Semites who brought with them the 
worship of some form of the goddess Ishtar,* and while 
Ashur is probably older than either of them, it is probable 
that the immigrants who founded it did the same. Haupt 
suggested some years ago that the name Ishtar was derived 
from the name Ashur. ^ This view we have found it im- 
possible to accept, but it is possible that the reverse may 
be true, and the name Ashur be derived from Ishtar. In 
Assyrian the 'Ayin and 'Aleph were both so weakened as 
to be at times indistinguishable, so that it only remained 
to assimilate the t to the preceding sh to transform the 
name of the goddess into that of the god.® 

1 V R., 1, 1. Cf. KB., Vol. II., pp. 152, 153. 

2 See above, p. 130. 

SIR., 15, 60 ff. ; cf. KB., Vol. I, pp. 42, 43. 

* See below. Chapter VI. ' See above, p. 103, n. 2. 

* Such assimilation of a J to a preceding S is not infrequent in the com- 
mon speech of the Babylonians and Assyrians (of. Delitzsoh, Assyr. 
Gram. § 51, 2). The s was in such cases usually changed to s, but in the 
name Ishtar other phonetic laws of the Babylonians and Assyrians suffer 
variation, e.g., S before a dental is usually changed to I, but in the name 
Ishtar the S always held its place. The SS in ASSur, if real, may be a 
similar exception. It is not certain that it is real, however. If the view 
of Tiele and Muss-Arnolt (p. 223, n. 1), represents as assumed below a folk 
interpretation of a later time, the writing of the name may have been 
changed from Assur to ASsur in the state inscriptions in accordance with 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 223 

Tiele ^ and Muss-Arnolt would connect the name with 
the root a-sh-r which occurs both in Hebrew and Assyrian 
in the sense of "be gracious, bless, cause to prosper." 
Although this view is supported by the fact that the name 
of the god is written by an ideogram which means good, 
it is probable as Jastrow ^ suggests that he was called the 
"good" as a mere epithet. It is most probable that the 
epithet was applied to Ashur by a folk etymology, which 
made a play upon the name as is so often done with Old 
Testament names and as was done at Babylon in the case of 
Sarpanit. If so, this view is really an argument in favor 
of another origin of Ashur. Possible as I consider these 
etymologies to be, Hommel has suggested one ^ which must 
be regarded as far more probable. He takes the name 
like the Assyrio-Babylonian word for sanctuary (ashirtu), 
to be derived from the old 'asheras or posts which marked 
the boundaries of Semitic sanctuaries. In several parts 
of the Semitic world the name of the post was transferred 
to the goddess,* and in one other case the goddess was in 
all probability transformed into a god. Such really seems 
to have been the course of events in Assyria. This view 
is supported by the fact that Khammurabi seems to have 
known such a goddess,* and it affords a simple and satis- 
factory etymology for Ashur. 

The general development of purely Semitic deities from 
the primitive mother goddess as a starting-point estab- 
lishes a strong probability that Ashur was a transformed 
Ishtar. In favor of this view is the fact that there is but 

this interpretation. That the speech of the people was not always in simi- 
lar cases represented in the writing Delitzsch admits (Gram. p. 119). I 
regard another origin, however, as far more probable. For another folk 
interpretation of the name see below, p. 224, n. 3. 

1 Babylonisch-Assyrische Geschichte, p. 533. So Muss-Arnolt 3and- 
worterhuch, p. 118. 

2 Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 196 ff. 
8 Aufsatze und Abbandlungen, Vol. II, p. 209. 

* See below Chapter VI. 

* Cf. King's Letters and Inscriptions of Hammurabi, No. 66. 



224 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



one trace of an Ishtar of the city of Ashur, and that is a 
very late one, capable of another interpretation. Assur- 
banipal speaks of " Ishtar the Assyrian," ^ but in reality 
he probably refers to the goddess of Nineveh, who had by 
his time long been associated with the god Ashur. Nine- 
veh was a part of the Assyrian dominion long before the 
earliest of our extant inscriptions, and it is probable that 
the worship of its goddess had been united with that of 
Ashur, so that Raman-nirari I and Tiglath-pileser I, when 
they refer to Ishtar, mean the goddess of Nineveh. ^ 

Probably, therefore, the original goddess of the city of 
Ashur was transformed into a god before the dawn of the 
historical period, and after Nineveh had been conquered 
its goddess became, through the operation of those laws 
of syncretism with which we are already so familiar, the 
spouse of the god Ashur. ^ The deity whose worship next 
to that of Ishtar was most widely extended over the Se- 
mitic world was the god known in Assyria as Ramman and 
among the Aramaeans as Hadad (in cuneiform Addu), or 
Rimmon. The most widely recognized function of this 
god caused him to be regarded as the god of thunder, 
lightning, wind, and storm, though as we shall see other 
attributes were not lacking in the minds of some of his 
worshippers. 

1 V R., 1, 65 ff.; cf. KB., Vol. II, pp. 158, 159, and Hebraica, Vol. IX, 
pp. 156, 157. 

2 This point was not clear to me when the article on the " Ishtar Cult " 
was written. The classification of the Assyrian material adopted in that 
article (Hebraica, Vol. IX, p. 131) was I now think a mistake. Its re- 
sults were not very far-reaching, as it only led to the assignment of four 
or five allusions to the city of Assur which belonged to Nineveh. 

2 It seems probable as Jensen and others have suggested (see Jensen, 
Kosmologie, p. 275, and ZA., Vol. I, p. 1 ff. ; Delitzsoh, Wellsclidpfrmg- 
sepos, p. 94 ; and Jastrow, op. cit. , p. 197), that tlie god Ansliar who plays 
a prominent part in our present version of the Babylonian creation epic is 
intended for the god Ashur, and is introduced as a compliment to Assyria, 
An-shar being a dissimilation of ASsur. If this be true, however, it proba- 
bly does not help us with the real etymology of the name Ashur, but is a 
folk etymology similar to the oue discussed above, p. 223 and 222, n. 4. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 225 

The name by which this deity was known in the older 
Babylonian period is in dispute.^ His name is written by 
the ideogram IM, and Thureau Dangin may be right in 
holding that in the oldest period it was pronounced " Im- 
meru."^ However this may be, he was certainly called by 
the Assyrians Ramman. Material recently made accessi- 
ble to scholars makes it clear that the worship of this god 
is of great antiquity in Babylonia. We do not know in 
what locality his worship first originated, but he was in- 
voked by Anu-banini before 3800 B.c.,^ and is coupled by 
that monarch with the goddess Ishtar. The same god 
also appears as a deity of popular worship on tablets of 
the time of Bur-Sin, king of Ur.* He must therefore 
have had a long career in Babylonia before the time of 
Khammurabi, although the material so far recovered does 
not enable us to trace it. All that we know of his nature 
in this early time is that the ideogram IM, " wind," indi- 
cates that he was connected in some way with the weather. 
By Khammurabi he was worshipped, and was associated 
with Shamash.^ Shamsu-iluna built a fortress or town to 
him.^ Later in the Kassite period he became very popu- 
lar, and several of the kings bore names which ascribed 
honor to him. At this time a second triad of gods appears, 
composed of Sin, Shamash, and Ramman.' 

1 That he was called by several names appears from the tablet published 
by Bezold, PSBA., Vol. XI, pp. 173, 174, and pi. 1. For discussions as to 
the name, see Hilprecht, Assyriaca, p. 76 ff.; Oppert, Comptes rendtis de 
Vacademie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, June, 1893 ; Jour, asiatique, 
1895, pp. 39.3-396, and ZA., Vol. IX, pp. 310-314 ; Thureau Dangin, Jour, 
asiatique, 1895, pp. 385-393; Jastrow, AJSL., Vol. XII, pp. 159-162; 
and Beligion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 156 ff. 

2 He was also called Mer in Babylonia and Bir in Syria. Cf. Hilprecht, 
Assyriaca, p. 77 ft. 

3 See Becueil de traveaux. Vol. XIV, pp. 100-106, and Radau, Early 
Bahylonian History, p. 177. 

« Cf. Radau, op. cit., pp. 327, 353, 1. 33 ; 427, 1. 6, and 429. 
6 Cf. KB., Vol. IIP, pp. 112, 113. 
« KB., Vol. nil, pp. 132, 133. 

' See any list of the kings of the third Babylonian dynasty, and Belser 
in BA,, Vol. II, p. 201, col. vi, 1. 8. 
Q 



226 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



In Assyria the worship of Ramman goes back to pre- 
historic times,^ and he was very popular in the historic 
period as the god of storm, lightning, and thunder, who 
helped to overthrow the enemies of his worshippers.^ Tig- 
lath-pileser I once refers to him as the god of the " west 
country,"^ which shows that he identified him with the 
Aramaean deity. It is hardly probable that Ramman 
was born on Assyrian soil. It is more probable that his 
worship was carried thither by Babylonian or Aramaean 
immigrants, preferably the former. 

In the El-Amarna letters from Syria and Palestine the 
ideogram IM is used to represent the name of a Syrian 
god, which is at times spelled syllabically as Ad-di,*^ and 
once as Ha-da-di.^ The same writing occurs centuries 
later in a contract written in Babylonia for an Aramaean 
immigrant.^ These passages equate the Syrian god Hadad 
with the Babylonian-Assyrian god Ramman. The equa- 
tion was a most natural one to make, as the names Ramman 
and Hadad both appear to have meant "Thunderer."' 

The worship of this god in Damascus is known to us 
through the Old Testament, where his name usually ap- 
pears as Hadad,^ but once a corruption of the Assyrian 
form occurs as Rimmon.* It appears from the obelisk 

1 I E., 15, 71 ff. Cf. KB., Vol. I, pp. 42, 43. 

2 Cf. Tiglath-pileser I in I R., 9, 9 ff. and 78 ff.; also KB., Vol. I, pp. 
16-19. Assurnasirpal exhibits the popularity of Ramman by calling him 
" The mightiest of the gods " {KB. , Vol. I, pp. 116-117) . 

8 I R., 14, 87 ; KB., Vol. I, pp. 38, 39. 

' Cf. KB., Vol. V, Nos. 333, io4i, and 85'. The name is written by 
Assurbanipal Da-ad-da (VR., 9, 2; cf. ^5., Vol. II, pp. 222, 223). 

^ KB., Yoi.Y, No. 881. 

« See TSBA., Vol. VIII, p. 282 ff., and Sp. 41; also Strassmaier's 
Nabonidos, No. 356. 

' For " Ramman " cf. Delitzsch, HWB., p. 624, and Jastrow in AJSL., 
p. 160 ff.; for "Hadad " cf. Buhl in Gesenius's Handworterbuch, 13th ed., 
p. 191 ; the Brown-Robinson-Gesenius Lexicon, p. 212, and Hoffmann, 
ZA., Vol. XI, p. 227. 

8 See 1 Kgs. 15'8.2o, 20p«««™, and 2 Kgs., e^^.^to,^ where it appears as 
the divine element in the name of the Icing of Damascus. 

° 2 Kgs. 5'6. Cf. Baudissin's discussion, Studien zur semitisehen 
Belu/ionsgescliichte, Vol. I, .308 ff. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 227 

inscription of Shalmeneser that he was also known as 
" Bir." ^ He seems to have been the chief deity of Dar 
masons, as well as of the Aramseans generally.^ Two 
passages in the El-Amarna letters prove that he was re- 
garded in Assyria as the majestic thunderer who over- 
whelmed enemies.* His worship would seem to have been 
carried in this period to several places in Palestine by 
Aramaean immigrants, where in after centuries places 
bearing the name of " Rimmon " attest the fact that the 
worship of a deity bearing that name had once held sway.* 

The excavations at Zendchirli, in the extreme north of 
Syria, have brought to light the statue of the god Hadad, 
together with an inscription partly in his praise written 
by a king of the eighth century B.C. His worship would 
seem to have extended wherever Aramaeans went. In 
their migrations they carried it to Babylonia, as already 
noted, and the name of the god has been found in an Ara- 
maic inscription as far south as Telloh.^ In Egypt it has 
been found in the vicinity of Memphis,^ while the worship 
penetrated north Arabia at Hegra,^ and into south Ara- 
bia,^ where the god was known as Rimmon ; while as the 
cult of Hadad it is also found in both the northern and 
southern parts of that peninsula.^ 

To determine the origin of such a god from the general 
point of view of our preceding discussion would seem at 
first glance a difficult matter. The disciples of Max Miil- 
ler, who take every deity for the personification of some 

1 See Abel and Winckler's Keilschrifttexte, p. 8, 1. 59, and p. 9, 1. 88 ; 
also Hilprecht, Assyriaca, p. 77. 

2 See the name of the king of Zobah in 2 Sam. 8^^^^ 
8 KB., Vol. V, Nos. 149" and 150'. 

* Josh. 1532, jud. 20", 2113, and Zech. 12". 

5 CIS., Pt. II, Vol. I, No. 72. 

6 CIS., Pt. II, Vol. I, No. 124. 
' CIS., Pt. II, Vol. I, No. 117. 

8 Cf. Glaser's Die Abessinier in Arabien und Afrika, p. 105. 

' See HaMvy, Melanges de critique, p. 424 ; Bevue semitique. Vol. 11, 
p. 21 ; Winokler, JJntersuchungen, p. 69, n.; Noldeke, ZDMQ., Vol. XLI, 
p. 712 ; and Wellhausen, Beste arab. Heidentums, 2d ed., p. 55. 



228 SEMITIC OlilGINS 



natural element, might be thought to have here a clear 
case of a pure and simple storm god. 

There are not lacking, nevertheless, conceptions con- 
nected with this god which such a theory is powerless to 
explain. The name of an Old Testament city, Ain-Rim- 
mon, or "Fountain of Rimmon,"i proves that the god was 
once connected with a spring, while the request which Naa- 
man made of Elisha concerning Yah we ^ suggests that he 
was accustomed to connect his own god, Rimmon, with 
the soil. Panamu of Zendchirli also calls Hadad "Baal 
of water,"^ which shows that he regarded him as a Semitic 
Baal. The proper name, Ben-Hadad-nathan, or " Hadad 
has created a son,"* of which the Biblical name Ben- Hadad 
is an abbreviation,^ proves him to have been connected 
with animal fertility as well as vegetable productiveness. 
It would thus seem that Hadad had been an earthly Baal 
before he became the god of storms and thunder. Jastrow 
has pointed out^ that in Assyria Ramman was at times 
identified with Shamash, who was a god of fertility, so 
that it is probable that a similar earthly history lay back 
of him there.^ This is rendered practically certain by 
an old Babylonian hymn, which caUs Ramman "lord of 
wells." 8 

1 Josh. 15^2. Cf. recent commentaries. 

2 2 Kgs. 5". 

^ Konigliche Museen ztc Berlin, — Mittheilungen aus dem orientalischen 
Sammlungen, Heft XI, Taf. vii, 1. 1, or Lidzbarski's Handbuch der nord- 
semitische Epigraphik, Taf. xxii, 1. 1. Cf. Cook's Glossary of Aramaic 
Inscriptions, p. 32. 

* See references, p. 226, n. 6. 

5 This fact was not clear to me in 1895 ; cf. JBL., Vol. XV, p. 175. 

» Beligion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 211. 

' This view receives some corroboration from the fact that in one of the 
old hymns publishfid by Heisner (Berlin, Mittheilxmgen, Heft X, p. 23, 
1. 10 ; cf, Banks's Snm.-Bab. Hymnen, p. 25), Eamman is described as a 
wild ox. The bull as already noted is a symbol of the gods of fertility in 
agricultural communities, and if Eamman had once been such a god, it 
would be very natural when he had become the destructive god of storms 
to change the domestic ox which symbolized him into a wild ox. 

* Translated by Sayoe, Hibbert Lectures, p. 530 ff. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 229 

Indeed, the steps by which a god of the soil — a giver of 
grain — became a storm god are very clear. As the god 
of fertility he was naturally the giver of rain, and as the 
god of rain he would become the god of thunder and 
lightning. When, as in Babylonia and Assyria political 
union caused the formation of the gods into a pantheon, 
the more active functions of production were thought to 
be presided over by other gods, the rain god would in time 
be associated with the more violent manifestations of his 
power, and become the god of storm and destruction. 

If then a god of fertility — a Baal — were a stage in 
the development of Ramman-Hadad, it is highly probable 
in view of the many cases of transformation which have 
been already traced that this Baal was in turn a metamor- 
phosis of the primitive goddess of fertility. Thus the 
evolution of the storm god probably followed the same 
course as that taken by other Semitic deities. 

This evolution probably went on independently in 
Babylonia and am^ong the Aramaeans.^ The god wor- 
shipped by Anu-banini 3800 B.C. can hardly have been 
affected by Aramaic influence, and we have no reason to 
suppose that Babylonian influence seriously affected the 
development of Hadad. In Assyria two waves of his 
worship meet and unite, — one from Babylonia and one 
from the West. 

The worship of the god Dagan like that of Ramman is 
found in both the East and the West, — in Babylonia and 
Assyria on the one hand and in Palestine on the other. 
It is found about 2500 B.C. in the name of a prince of 
Nippur,^ and on a tablet from the time of the sovereignty 
of Ur which is perhaps earlier still.^ It also appears in 
an inscription of Khammurabi.* In Assyria the cult 

1 Of course In Babylonia some Sumerian influences may have hastened 
the process of evolution. 

s I R., 2, No. 5; KB., Vol. Ill, pp. 86, 87. 
" Radau, Early Babylonian History, p. 261. 
1 Schrader, KAT.'^, p. 181. 



230 SEMITIC OKIGINS 



seems to have been established before the written records 
of that country begin, for we find it as an element in a 
proper name at the very dawn of history. ^ Dagan seems 
to have been worshipped in Assyria down to the eighth 
century B.C. as the inscriptions of Assurnasirpal, Shamshi- 
Ramman, and Sargon show.^ According to the Hebrew 
version of Tobit it continued till the time of Sennacherib,^ 
but this cannot be regarded as reliable evidence. 

The El-Amarna letters attest the presence of Dagan in 
Palestine in the fifteenth century B.C.,* while we learn 
from the Old Testament that he was the god of Gaza^ 
and Ashdod,® and the inscriptions of Sennacherib make it 
probable that he was the god of the Philistines generally.'^ 
He appears also to have been once worshipped near Nablus* 
and in the neighborhood of Jericho.* 

Various theories of the origin and nature of Dagan 
have been propounded. Rashi advanced the idea that his 
name was derived from the Hebrew dag, fish, and that 
Dagon was a fish god.^" In recent times attempts have 
been made to strengthen this view by comparing the 
Babylonian pictures of the fish god Ea, but the compari- 

1 KB., Vol. I, pp. 42, 43 ; ZA., Vol. V, p. 79, and Hebraica, Vol. IX, 
p. 132. 

2 See references in Jensen's Kosmologie, p. 452. 
' See Neubauer's edition, p. 20. 

* Cf. the name Dagan-takala in KB., Vol. V, Nos. 215, 216. 
6 Jud. 1623. 

«2 Sam. 5^*; 1 Mace, lOSS'*, 11*, and Josephus, Antiquities, 
xiii, 4^. 

' KB., Vol. II, pp. 92, 93; cf. Schrader, KAT.'^, p. 181 ; and Delitzsch, 
Faradies, p. 289. 

* See Bait Dejan on Pal. Expl. Funds, map seven miles east of Nablus, 
and G. A Smith's Historical Geography, p. 332, n. 

' Josephus, Antiquities, xiii, 8\ and Jewish Wars, i, 2'. 
1" See Moore's article "Dagon" in Encyc. Bib., and Jules RouTier 
in Jour, asiat., September, October, 1900, p. 347 ft. 'iiSdKuv, who was 
according to Eusebius a Babylonian fish god, is also compared. Cf. 
Schrader, KAT.'', p. 182 ; and Jensen, Kosmologie, p. 450. Eusebius is, 
however, too late to count for much when unsupported. His Odakon, per- 
haps, is for a corruption of Oannes. 



TRANSFORMATIONS IN BABYLONIA 231 

son is inapt, since the Dagan of the Babylonians was 
quite a different god from Ea. 

Philo Biblos took the name from the Hebrew ddgdn 
"grain" and regarded Dagon as an agricultural deity. ^ 
This view, though rejected by many modern scholars, prob- 
ably comes nearer to the truth than the former one. The 
real nature of the god cannot be determined, however, 
without taking into account the evidence from both the 
East and the West. 

In Babylonia Dagan was associated with Bel, the god of 
the earth, and his cult would seem ultimately to have been 
merged into that of Bel.^ Dagan must therefore have 
been a god of the earth like Bel, or in other words he was 
a Baal ^ — a god of the soil. Jensen holds that he was a 
Semitic deity,* and believes with Jastrow ^ that the Baby- 
lonian god is closely related to the god of Philistia. 

The course of evolution by which the great Semitic 
deities were produced leads us to suspect that the Semitic 
Baal called Dagon was, like the others of his kind, devel- 
oped out of a still earlier mother goddess in some sheltered 
nook at a time when intercommunication had not pro- 
duced religious syncretism. It is a difficult matter to 
determine where the sheltered nook which formed the 
earliest habitat of Dagon was situated. His worship may 
have originated in Babylonia, whence it was carried to 
Assyria in prehistoric days and to Palestine before the 
El-Amarna period. It can hardly have been the native 
religion of the Philistines before their coming to Palestine, 
but must have been adopted by them because Dagon was 
the god of their newly acquired home.^ 

1 See Sanchoniathontis Fragmenta, ed. Orelli. 

' III R., 68, 21 0, d, and Jensen, Kosmologie, p. 453. 

» So Jensen, op. cit., p. 456. * IMd., p. 455. 

^ Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 208. 

6 Whence the Philistines came we do not know ; perhaps from Asia 
Minor. Cf. the article of W. Max Miiller, " Die Urheimat der Philister," 
in Mitteilungen der vorderasiatischen Gesellschaft, Vol. V, Heft 2, pp. 
1-13. 



232 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



Another view is that Dagon was an Aramsean god 
whose worship radiated from the highlands between Pales- 
tine and Mesopotamia to the countries on both sides. ^ In 
view of the early appearance of the name in Babylonia 
this theory encounters grave difficulties. We cannot at 
present pronounce definitely upon the matter, but must 
patiently wait for the appearance of further material. It 
seems probable, however, that Dagon was a Baal developed 
at some point on Babylonian soil out of the primitive 
Semitic cult, and that thence his worship was diffused by 
emigration to Assyria and Palestine. ^ 

^ So Jastrow, op. cit., p. 208, and Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, p. 188. 
Sayce infers from Sajrgon's declaration that tie had extended his protec- 
tion over Harran and according to the ordinance of Anu and Dagon 
written down their laws, that Dagon was especially connected with 
Harran — a conclusion which seems no more necessary for Dagon than for 
Anu. 

2 The god Nusku was a fire god (cf . IV R. , 26, No. 3, Sayce, Hibbert 
Lectures, p. 497). His origin is obscure. He was worshipped in the 
Assyrian period especially by Shalmeueser II and Assurbanipal. 

Ninib (Adar ?) was the same as or a development from Ningirsu, (cf. 
II R., 54, 74, and Briinnow, List, No. 10994), so that his origin has 
already been discussed. 

In the oasis of Palmyra, some 150 miles northeast of Damascus, no 
special male deity seems, so far as the inscriptions indicate, to have been 
developed, but the inscriptions show that the worship of Babylonian and 
Syrian gods was brought here by immigrants from different directions. 
The Babylonian Bel (De Vogiie, Syrie centrale [Palmyre] Nos. 117, 
140), Shamash (No. 8), and the Syrian Baal (Nos. 16, 73) all appear. 



CHAPTER VI 

SURVIVALS 

Having briefly traced in the two preceding chapters 
the transformations of the primitive Semitic goddess in the 
different parts of the Semitic world, something should now 
be said of the survivals of her cult. These have incident- 
ally been already introduced in part at various points of 
the argument as they were needed, but have not all of 
them been adequately treated. They merit a brief, con- 
nected discussion. We shall begin with Arabia, the primi- 
tive Semitic home. 

A clear case of survival here, though under a different 
name from that of the primitive divine mother, is the god- 
dess Al-Lat, whose worship can be traced in several parts 
of Arabia. At Taif, to the south of Mecca, it flourished 
among the Thaqif,i where an old stone nosh or masseba 
of her still remains, and was seen by Doughty. ^ At Sal- 
khad her cult can be distinctly traced in the Nabathsean 
inscriptions.^ We learn that a temple was built to her 
there at one time, and at others a candlestick and a nosh 
were consecrated to her. In these inscriptions she is called 
the "mother of the gods." The other gods of the place 
were Dhu-'l-Shara and Manutu.* The god of whom she was 
especially the mother appears from a passage in Epipha- 
nius,^ who vouches for the presence of her worship at Petra 

1 Cf. Ibn Kutaiba, p. 60, and "Wellhausen, Heidentum, 2d ed., p. 30. 
'^ Cf. his Arabia Deserta, Vol. II, pp. 511, 515, and 517. 
s See CIS., Ft. II, Vol. I, Nos. 182, 183, 185, and De Vogiie's Syria 
centrals, Vol. I, pp. 107 and 119. 

« CIS., Ft. II, Vol. I, No. 190, etc. ^ Panarion, LI. 

283 



234 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



in Edom, and tells us that the heathen Arabs at that place 
drew a parallel between her and her son Dhu-'l-Shara on 
the one hand, and the Virgin Mary and the child Jesus 
on the other. 1 It appears, then, that Dhu-'l-Shara was 
her son, and that she was an unmarried goddess. Robert- 
son Smith 2 is no doubt right in interpreting this to mean 
that she was originally a goddess of unwedded love, for 
an unmarried virgin goddess was an unheard-of anomaly 
among the ancient Semites. 

Perhaps it was from Petra that some other ancient 
writers heard of this goddess. Thus Herodotus speaks of 
her^ under the name Alilat, and calls her son Dionysos. 
Ephraem Syrus speaks of her and her companion goddess 
Al-Uzza, and tells how women sacrificed chastity in their 
honor.* Jerome also bears testimony to the same fact, 
and tells us further that the goddess was identified with 
the morning star.^ 

At Hegra she was also worshipped, but there the name 
of Dhu-'l-Shara was placed before that of Al-lat.® At the 
date from which the inscriptions from Hegra come the 
influence of the patriarchal form of society had been felt 
to such an extent that Dhu-'l-Shara had become superior 
to his mother ; perhaps he had become her husband. 

At Palmyra, in the second century a.d., the worship of 
Al-Lat was coupled with that of the god Shamash.'' It is 

1 Wellhausen {Heidentum, 2d ed., pp. 48, 49) seeks to break the force 
of this because Epiphaiiius says the goddess was called Qaaba (xaa/SSu). 
Wellhausen thinks the god was regarded as the offspring of the stone which 
represented him. Robertson Smith is, I think, right {Religion of the 
Semites, 2d ed., p. 56, n.) in giving the interpretation which I have adopted 
in the text. Semitic gods were frequently so identified with the object 
which represented them, that Epiphanius, no doubt, has put the name of 
the stone fetich which represented her for the goddess herself. 

2 See preceding note. 
8 Book III, 8. 

* Opera, Vol. II, pp. 457 E ; 458, 1. 1 ; 459 C. 
6 Cf. Jerome's Vita Hilarionis, c. 25. 
6 CIS., Pt. II, Vol. I, No. 198. 
' De Vogue, Syria centrale, No. 8. 



SURVIVALS 235 



probable that the worship of Shamash had at this north- 
eastern Nabathsean outpost been introduced from Baby- 
lonia, and that it had been united with the Arabian cult 
by the marriage of Shamash and Al-Lat. 

The connection of the Al-Lat cult with the primitive 
Semitic goddess is obvious. Al-Lat is but an epithet ^ and 
was applied to the goddess at various points until it super- 
seded her real name. All the features of her worship of 
which we know are best accounted for in this way.^ 

Another Arabian goddess, who has been in recent years 
proven to be a survivor of the primitive Semitic cult, is 
Al-Uzza.^ She was, as we learn from the quotation which 
Yaqut,* the Arabian geographer, makes from Ibn-al-Kalbi, 
especially worshipped by the Koraish, the prophet's tribe, 
whose headquarters were at Mecca. They honored her, 
he says, with sacrifices and pilgrimages. In another pas- 
sage he says that the place where her victims were slaugh- 
tered was called the Ghabghab,* a name which seems to 
have been applied to a rivulet or trench, into which the 
blood of the victims drained,* and which emptied into the 
Zemzem. The latter was a well which seems to have been 
especially connected with her worship ; into it images of 
sacred animals, such as the gazelle, which were offered in 
her worship or in that of Allah, with whom she was con- 
nected, were thrown.'^ In a similar way she, with Allah, 
was connected with the Qa'aba, into which her golden 
gazelles were afterward put.^ This connection with Allah 
and the Qa'aba is established by the Qur'an, which makes 
her one of Allah's daughters.^ 

1 The name seems to have been originally Al-Lahat, "the goddess," 
corresponding to Al-Lah ; of. Wellhausen, Seidentum, 2d ed., p. 33. 

2 Cf. Hebraica, Vol. X, pp. 58-66. 

8 See W. R. Smith's Kinship, pp. 294, 295, and Hebraica, Vol. X, 
pp. 58-59. 

* Cf. ed. Wustenfeld, Vol. Ill, p. 664. ^ Op. cit. Vol. Ill, p. 773. 

8 Cf. Wellhausen, Heidentum, 2d ed., p. 103, Smith, Religion of the 
Semites, 2d ed., pp. 198, 228, and 340. 

' Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, pp. 93, 94. 

8 Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, p. 94. ' Sura, 53». 



236 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



The connection of Al-Uzza with the Zemzem shows that 
before the time of the prophet she had been a goddess of 
wells or a ha'alat, and consequently a goddess of the soil 
and of fertility like the old mother Athtar. The fact that 
the dove was sacred to her, together with the nature of 
her festivals, connects her worship with that of the Ashtart 
of Phoenicia and its colonies, to whom the same bird was 
sacred. 1 

The most decisive indication of the direct descent of Al- 
Uzza from the old mother goddess is the character of the 
festivals celebrated in her honor. Isaac of Antioch testi- 
fies that these feasts were licentioixs,^ that boys and maidens 
were sacrificed in them,^ and that the goddess was identi- 
fied with the planet Venus. This festival still survives at 
Mecca. It is celebrated in the sixth month and is still of 
a licentious character.* It is the lineal descendant of one 
of the festivals of the primitive goddess described above 
in Chapter III.^ 

At Nakhla, a valley southwestward from Mecca, which 
takes its name from its abundant palm trees, Al-Uzza was 
identified with a samura tree or group of samura trees,^ 
which, as noted above, are declared in a scholion to Ibn 
Hisham to be palm trees. '^ The doubts of Wellhausen 
and Robertson Smith as to the correctness of this state- 
ment have already been discussed. The general course of 
the development of Semitic civilization and the agencies 
which acted as factors of progress tend, as we have traced 
them, to establish the veracity of this scholion. Some 
Arabic writers declare that there was a temple of Al-Uzza 
at Nakhla, but Wellhausen^ is probably right in holding 
that the temple was at another place called Bass, and that 
the later Arabs confused this temple with Nakhla, where 

1 Smith, Kinship, p. 294. 

2 Ed. of Bickell, p. 244. Cf. Wellhausen, op. cit., p. 39 ff. 
8 Ed. of Biokell, p. 220. 

* See Snouck Hurgronje's Mekka, Vol. II, pp. 59-61. ^ p. 94 ff. 

' Wellhausen, Heidentum, 2d ed., p. 38. 

' p. 145. Cf. above, p. 77 f£. s Op. cit, p. 38. 



SURVIVALS 237 



the goddess was supposed to dwell in the trees already 
mentioned. 

It was probably a sacrifice in worship of Al-Uzza which 
Theodulus, son of Nilus, witnessed " to the morning star " 
among the Arabs of the Sinaitic peninsula. None of this 
sacrifice could remain till the morning.^ The ritual of 
this offering resembles that which Bent found in Abys- 
sinia, which has already been traced to the primitive 
Semitic cult.^ 

Wellhausen and Robertson Smith ^ have perceived that 
Al-Lat and Al-Uzza are in reality one, and that their 
names are but epithets for the same goddess. As Al-Lat 
is the feminine of Al-Lahu, so Al-Uzza, " the mighty," is 
an epithet applied in its masculine form to Allah also, and 
in south Arabia was applied to other deities.* There can 
be no doubt that both are survivals in slightly different 
forms of the primitive mother goddess of the Semites, who 
was in part transformed at Mecca into, and became the 
basis of, the Mohammedan Allah. 

With the movement of the Semites northward from 
Arabia the worship of their mother goddess was, as we 
have seen, carried. In many places she was in prehistoric 
times transformed into a god ; but in others she survived 
in her original character far down into historic times. 

One of the places where such survival occurred was a 
city which occupied an important site on the plateau east 
of the Jordan, and which took its name from the goddess. 
It appears in the earliest extant documents which refer to 
that section of the country, the inscriptions of Thothmes 
III^ and the El-Amarna® letters. It is called in these 

iSee Migne, Patrologia Grmca, Vol. LXXIX {Nili Opera), p. 611 ft. 
Cf. Wellhausen, op. cit., p. 42 ff., and Smith, Seligion of the Semites, 
2d ed., pp. 166, 227, 281, 338, 361, 363, 364. 

2 Above, p. 112. ^ Heidentum, 2d ed., p. 44 ; Kinship, p. 295. 

* See the name Il-'Azza, " God is mighty," whioli occurs as a Sabsan 
proper name in CIS., Ft. IV, Vol. I, No. 118. 

6 Cf. W. Max MliUer's Asien und Ewropa, p. 162. 

6 Cf. KB., Vol. V, Nos. 1421" and 23721. 



238 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



documents Ashtart, and in the Old Testament Ashtaroth ^ 
and Ashtoreth Karnaim.^ It was therefore a prehistoric 
sanctuary of the goddess. It continued to be an important 
centre of her worship down to the Maccabaean period.^ 

What the name Karnaim (" two-horned ") signified has 
been a matter about which opinions have differed, some 
taking it to mean that she was a moon goddess,* others 
that she was worshipped in the form of a cow.^ The real 
meaning is probably that suggested by Moore,® which 
makes Karnaim " the two-peaked mountain," and supposes 
that the city was situated in a valley between two hills. 
In later times the name was shortened to Karnaim," and 
under this name maintained its existence down to the 
second century^ and perhaps later. By the time of Euse- 
bius its importance had apparently waned.^ Although we 
have no details concerning the worship of the goddess in 
this city further than that she had a temple there, there 
is no reason to suppose that it differed in any material 
feature from the forms which it assumed elsewhere. 
The writer of 2 Maccabees has confused the Ashtart of 
Karnaim with the goddess Atargatis, a divinity whose 

1 Josh. 13.21 = Gen. UK 

'The Onomastioa of Eusetoius and Jerome give two places east of 
the Jordan named Astarte. Buhl, in his Geographie, p. 248 ff., follows 
this, but it is doubtful whether it is true. The names floated about some- 
what in the later times (cf. G. A. Smith's "Ashtaroth" in Encyc. Bib., 
and my "Ashtaroth" and "Ashtoreth Karnaim" in Jewish Encyclo- 
pedia). Tell Ashtarah, Tell Ash'ari, and Muzeirib are sites which have 
been identified with the name. Excavation of the sites will be necessary 
before their identity can be determined. 

* See Stade in ZAW., Vol. VI, p. 323 ff. 

5 That was my view in 1894. Cf. Hebraica, Vol. X, p. 40. 

^ JBL., Vol. XVI, p. 156 ff. Moore bases his suggestion on a parallel 
name of Baal contained in some Latin inscriptions from North Africa. 

' So Amos 613, 1 Mac. 5«, and 2 Mac. 122s. Cf. Wellhausen, Sldzeen 
und Vorarbeiten ; Heft V, p. 86; G. A. Smith, Book of the Twelve 
Prophets, Vol. I, p. 176, and Nowack, Kleinen Propheten, p. 147. 

8 1 Mac. 5", and 2 Mac. 1226. 

' This is inferred in consequence of the probable confusion of names 
by Eusebius. 



SURVIVALS 239 



origin and nature are much debated. Baethgen has 
pointed out^ that the name Athtar or Ashtar would in 
Aramaic become Atar. Such a goddess was found by 
Assurbanipal among the Aramaeans, who were associated 
with the Nabathaeans encountered in his Arabian cam- 
paign. ^ Her worshippers called her Atar-samain, i.e. 
"Atar of the heavens." This proves the presence among 
the Aramaeans of the old Semitic mother goddess. A god- 
dess who is in part at least the same appears in a bilingual 
inscription (Aramaic and Greek) from Palmyra under the 
name 'Atar 'atah, in Greek Atargatis.^ Atargatis is also 
the name of a goddess who is mentioned by Greek and 
Roman writers.* 

Since the second element of the name of the goddess in 
the Aramaic portion of the Palmy rene inscription appears 
as a component element of theophorous proper names,^ 
Baethgen concludes that it, too, was originally the name of 
a deity. Since Lucian and Macrobius describe the temple 
and rites of Atargatis at Hierapolis-Bambyce (Mabug) in 
Syria, where she was worshipped as the consort of the 
god Hadad,^ and since Melito of Sardis and some Greek 
inscriptions from Batanea couple a goddess 'Ati with 
Hadad, Baethgen also concludes that Atargatis is a name 
compounded of the Aramaean goddess Atar and that of 
the goddess 'Ati, and formed like the name Ashtar- 

' Beitrage zur semitischen Seligionsgeschichte, p. 69 fi. The s or 8 
would in Aramaic become t, and the two fs would be assimilated or 
written with a dagesh understood. 

2 Cf. Ill R., 24, 11. 98 and 106, and George Smith's Assurbanipal, pp. 
270, 271, 283, and 295. 

' De Vogile, Syrie centrale, No. 3. The name is spelled iny-inji on a 
coin. Cf. ZDM&., Vol. VI, p. 472 ff. 

*Cf. Lucian, De Syria Dea, §§ 14, 15; Strabo, Book XVI, 1, 27, 
and Macrobius, Saturnalia., I, 22, 18. 

' In addition to the names cited by Baethgen, op. eit. , cf . Cook, Glos- 
sary of Aramaic Inscriptions, p. 95 ; Lidzbarski, Nordsemitische Epigra- 
phik. Vol. I, p. 347, and Gottheil in JAOS., Vol. XXI, Pt. II, pp. 109-111. 

sin addition to the references in n. 4, cf. Lucian, op. cit., §§ 31, 32, 
and Pliny, Nat. Hist., V, 23. 



240 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



Chemosh. The Phrygians had a goddess Attis,i and 
since the name Atargatis occurs only in late sources, it is 
possible that a fusion of two goddesses, one Semitic and 
one foreign, had taken place. Jensen,^ on a far more 
slender thread of evidence, explains the name as a corrup- 
tion of that of the Hittite god or goddess Tarkhu, with 
an 'Ayin prefixed and a feminine ending added to make it 
analogous to Ashtart. Such an explanation seems far less 
probable than Baethgen's. 

Still another possibility should be considered. 'Ati or 
'Athi, the second element in the name of the Palmyrene 
goddess, may originally have been an epithet descriptive 
of her as the defender of her people, and finally by a 
fashion similar to that which attached the name Sebaoth 
to the name Yahwe among certain Israelitish writers it 
may have become a part of the name of the goddess. If 
it were an epithet, it would naturally come in time to be 
used for the goddess herself, and thus would enter as an 
element into proper names as Ahu, Akhu, and Meleh have 
entered. This explanation cannot be regarded as very 
satisfactory, as no good Semitic etymology of 'Ati is 
forthcoming. 

On the whole the explanation of Baethgen seems most 
probable. The late date of the sources in which the name 
is found, the well-recognized syncretism which took place 
in Syria after the days of Alexander the Great, as well 
as the tendency of the Semites of the Greek and Persian 
periods to form divine names by compounding the names 
of two separate gods,^ all point in this direction. If such 
combination took place, it was after the time of Assurbani- 
pal's campaign (cir. 640 B.C.), — and probably long after, 

1 Cf. Macrobius, Saturnalia, I, 21, 7, and 22, 4 ff., and Lucian, op. cit., 
§ 15. Attis and Atargatis are tiotli said by these writers to ride upon 
lions — another point in favor of the theory of fusion. 

2 Hittiter unci Armenier, p. 157. 

2 See the article on " West Semitic Deities with Compound Names " 
in JBL., Vol. XX, p. 22 ff. 



SURVIVALS 241 



— for the Semitic goddess in her Aramaic form at that 
time was worshipped under her own name. 

Atar, even when compounded with the Phrygian god- 
dess, did not differ materially from Ashtart in character 
and functions, as Lucian and Macrobius testify. We are 
therefore justified in regarding her as practically the same 
as the Aramaean goddess Atar. Atar was as like to Ash- 
tart as was Ashtart to Ishtar. All had sprung from the 
same root, but had developed in different branches of the 
great Semitic family. It is not strange therefore that 
the author of 2 Maccabees should identify the two and call 
the temple of Ashtart the temple of Atargatis. Consider- 
ing the tendency to fusion in the later time, this seems 
more probable than the supposition that there was in 
Karnaim a temple of both goddesses.^ The writer prob- 
ably called the goddess by the name most familiar to him. 

The Aramaic goddess Atar (Atargatis) was, like her 
sister goddesses in other countries, worshipped sometimes 
alone as among the Isammikhi ^ and at Palmyra, and some- 
times as the consort of the closely related deity Hadad. 
At Palmyra, where the population was composed in part 
of Nabathsean Arabs and of Aramaeans, both Al-Lat and 
Atargatis found worshippers. At Hierapolis-Bambyce 
she was worshipped in the temple of Hadad as his consort. 
Fishes and doves were sacred to her. Statues in the 
temple represented both her and Hadad, that of the god 
being supported by bulls, and that of the goddess by lions. ^ 

Another city in which the worship of this goddess sur- 
vived and where its history seems to have run a similar 
course was Ashkelon. This town, situated on or near the 
Mediterranean coast, was a fortress of some importance 
under the eighteenth Egyptian dynasty ; * it joined in the 

1 So Cheyne, Encyc. Bib., Vol. I, col. 379. 

2 III R., 24, 11. 98, 106, and George Smith's Assurbanipal, pp. 270, 
271, 283, and 295. 

3 See Luoian, De Syria Dea, §§ 14, 15, 31, 32, and Macrobius, Satur- 
nalia, I, 22, 17-22. 

* Cf. KB., Vol. V, No. 211 ff. 



242 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



conspiracy against Jerusalem -which Abdi-kheba's letters 
reflect;^ and seems to have revolted from Rameses IP. 
In the early days of Israelitish history it was one of the 
five Philistine cities of importance. 

The earliest mention which we have of the temple of 
the goddess at this place is probably the statement in 
1 Sam. 31^, that the Philistines after the battle of Gilboa 
hung the armor of Saul in the "house of the Ashtarotb." 
As we have positive evidence afterward of the worship of 
the goddess only at Ashkelon, the reference is probably to 
the temple of that place.' If this be true, the goddess of 
Ashkelon was to the Israelites indistinguishable from the 
Canaanitish goddesses. 

We catch a glimpse of her cult again in Herodotus,* 
who calls her the Oriental Aphrodite, and who by refer- 
ence to the disease which the Scythians took from thence 
bears witness to the survival of those rites which we have 
found to be so characteristic of the primitive Semitic 
mother goddess. 

Later writers^ call the name of the goddess Atargatis, 
identifying her with the Aramaic-Syrian deity which we 
have already traced. It is impossible from our present 
information to determine absolutely whether it was the 
Aramaeans or the Canaanites who first planted the worship 
of the goddess at Ashkelon. It seems reasonable to con- 
jecture, however, that it was of Canaanitish origin, and that 
the Aramaic element was afterward introduced into it. 

It was probably at Ashkelon that the custom of repre- 
senting the goddess as half woman and half fish originated, 
for at Ashkelon her temple stood near a lake filled with 

'^KB., Vol. V, No. 180" ff. 

^ W. Max MuUer's Asien und Europa, p. 222. 

^ Of course it is possible that there may have been smaller temples of 
the goddess elsewhere, but on the whole the position taken in the text 
seems probable. 

* Book I, 105. 

^ See Diodorus Siculus, Book II, ch. iv, and Ovid, Metamorphoses, 
Book IV, 11. 44-46. 



SURVIVALS 243 



fish,^ and was also not far from the sea-coast. Fishing 
must have become one of the means of living at a very 
early time, and by the same processes of thought which 
led to the representation of Ea at Eridu as half man, 
half fish, the goddess of the fishermen of Ashkelon took on 
a similar form. At Hierapolis-Bambyce, situated between 
the ranges of Lebanon, she was represented under a similar 
form, but the custom may have been transferred thither 
from Ashkelon. It has been inferred ^ from this form that 
the goddess was the personification of the fructifying 
power of water. It seems clear from the wide survey of 
the cult which has been made in the preceding pages that 
such connection of the goddess with water far antedates 
the time when her worship was planted at Ashkelon. 
The fish form, though, may well have been born in that 
peculiar environment. 

By Greek writers Atargatis was more often called 
Dekerto. The myth, that becoming enamoured of one 
of her worshippers, she became by him the mother of 
Semiramis, the queen of Babylon,^ is additional proof of 
her practical identity with the old polyandrous goddess 
which was worshipped among the Nabathseans as Al-lat 
and sometimes held in later centuries to be a virgin. 

At Sidon the chief deity was, as already noted, Ashtart, 
but in this city her worship underwent a twofold develop- 
ment. On the one hand, the old mother goddess was re- 
tained in her primitive independence, so that when her 
cult was opposed by Israelitish prophets she was called 
"the abomination of the Sidonians."* To her, king Tab- 
nith tells us, both himself and his father were priests,^ 
and Eshmunazer II says that his mother was her priestess.* 

^ Diodorus Siculus, ibid. 

2 Legarde, Mittheilungen, Vol. I, p. 77, and White's article, " Atarga^ 
tis" In Hastings's Dictionary of the- Bible. 
" Diodorus Siculus, Book II, ch. iv. 
« 2 Kgs. 2.318. 

' Cf. Bevue archeologique, 1887, p. 2. 
» CIS., Vol. I, Pt. I, No. S"!". 



244 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



Side by side with this primitive cult there was one 
somewhat modified. "Ashtart of the name of Baal," an 
Ashtart probably which had in part been metamorphosed 
into a god, was also worshipped. To each of these god- 
desses Eshmunazer built a temple,^ perhaps the same 
which Lucian afterward saw there. ^ 

Sidon was one of the headquarters of the Phoenician 
shipping trade, and its goddess became in consequence 
the patroness of mariners. She is often pictured on 
Sidonian coins as standing on the prow of a galley with 
one hand outstretched, holding a crown and pointing the 
ship on its way,^ a device also adopted on the coins of 
other Phoenician cities. According to Lucian, Ashtart 
of Sidon was also identified with the moon.* 

It is stated by Eusebius on the authority of a Phoenician 
writer that at Tyre, Ashtart was the chief deity with 
whom two others (probably Melqart and Eshmun) ^ were 
associated, and that the goddess here had the head of a 
bull. Josephus also states that Hiram, king of Tyre, 
built, at Tyre, in addition to the temple of Baal, a temple 
of Ashtart, in which Eth-Baal, the father of Jezebel, was 
priest. Josephus no doubt gives the correct view in say- 
ing that Melqart (Heracles) was at the head of the 
pantheon of Tyre, and that the worship of Ashtart was 
in historical times subordinate to his. 

At Byblos, the ancient Gebal (the Gubla of the El- 
Amarna letters),^ the cult of Ashtart survived in much 
of its original form. Yahumelek,'^ a king of Gebal in the 

1 CIS., Pt. I, Vol. I, No. 3. 

2 De Syria Dea, § 4. 

' Cf. Driver in Hastings's Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. I, p. 167. 

* Op. cit., § 4. 

6Cf. my article "The Pantheon of Tyre," in JAOS., Vol. XXII, 
p. 11.5 ff., and Herod., II, 49, who vouches for the Tyrian origin of Aphro- 
dite at Thebes, with whom Adonis was connected. Cf. Pans., IX, 16, 3, 
and below, Chapter VIII. 

« See KB., Vol. V, Nos. 50, 53, 123, and 137. 

' CIS., Pt. I, Vol. I, No. 1. 



SURVIVALS 245 



fifth century B.C., venerates the goddess as the Bdalat of 
Gebal, and makes it clear that she not only stood at the 
head of the pantheon, but that all other worship there was 
practically subordinate to hers. Her temple at Byblos is 
pictured on an old coin,^ and is also mentioned by Lucian. 
It was here that Lucian found the rites of Tammuz surviv- 
ing in connection with the worship of the mother goddess. 
He describes it as follows : — 

" But I also saw in Byblos a great temple of Aphrodite 
of Byblos, in which also the rites to Adonis are performed. 
I also made inquiry concerning the rites ; for they tell the 
deed which was done to Adonis by a boar in their own 
country, and in memory of his suffering they beat their 
breasts each year, and waU and celebrate these rites, and 
institute great lamentation throughout the country. But 
when they have bewailed and lamented, first they perform 
funeral rites to Adonis as if he were dead, but afterward 
upon another day they say he lives, and they cast (dust) 
into the air and shave their heads as the Egyptians do 
when Apis dies. But women such as do not wish to be 
shaven pay the following penalty : On a certain day they 
stand for prostitution at the proper time ; and the market 
is open to strangers only, and the pay goes as a sacrifice 
to Aphrodite."^ . . . 

"But there is also another marvel in the country of 
Byblos : a river from Mount Libanos empties into the sea. 
The name of the river is Adonis. But the river each year 
becomes bloody, and having lost its own complexion, falls 
into the sea and reddens a large part of the sea, and 
gives the signal for the lamentations to the inhabitants of 
Byblos. They say that in these days Adonis is wounded 
on Libanos, and his blood going into the water changes 
the river, and gives to the stream its name. The majority 
tell this. But a certain man of Byblos, who seemed to 

1 See Pietschmann, ffeschichte der Phmnizier, p. 200, and Journal of 
Bellenic Studies, Vol. IX, p. 215. 

2 Lucian, op. cit., § 6. 



246 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



me to tell the truth, adduced another cause of the suffer- 
ing. He spoke as follows : ' The river Adonis, O stranger, 
comes through Libanos ; but Libanos has a great deal of 
yellow soil. Therefore, the hard winds in these days set- 
ting upon the soil bear it into the river — the soil being 
of an especially red color ; and the soil gives it its bloody 
tint ; and the country is the cause of this suffering, and 
not the blood as they say.' The Byblite adduced such 
causes to me, and if he related these things to me accu- 
rately, the incident of the wind seems to me especially 
supernatural."^ 

It is clear from these passages that the myth of the 
death of the son of the old mother goddess survived at 
Gebal in much of its primitive form. True, the myth had 
taken on a local coloring, and connected itself with local 
circumstances; but the rites attached to the celebration of 
the god's resurrection are in many respects still primitive. 
Some progress has been made since women coiild be shorn 
in lieu of a more degrading sacrifice, if they desired, but 
this progress does not hide the features in the rites which 
have survived from the Semitic matriarchal past. The 
worship of Ashtart was no doubt prevalent at many points 
in Canaan, whence it was adopted at various times by the 
Israelites, but we have not now the means of tracing it 
in detail.^ 

Another goddess which sprang from the same root as 
those we have been considering, and which exercised the 
same functions, though called by a slightly different 
name, was the goddess Ashera. In the period repre- 
sented by the El-Amarna tablets she was apparently the 
goddess of a tribe called the Bne-Ebed-Ashera.^ From a 
Sumerian hymn published by Reisner * we learn that she 

1 Lucian, op. cit., § 8. 

2 Cf. Jud. 213, 106, 1 Sara. 7*, Jer. V«, and Eze. 8". 

' See KB., Vol. V, No. 53 ff., and cf. JBL., Vol. X, p. 82 H. 

* See Mittheilungen d. kgl. Museen zu Berlin, Heft X, p. 92 ; also a 
hematite seal in ZA., Vol. VI, p. 161, an astronomical text in ZA., Vol. 
VI, p. 241, and the remarks of .Jensen, ZA., Vol. XI, p. 302 ff. 



SURVIVALS 247 



was the consort of the god of the Westland, i.e., Hadad. 
The tablet from which the hymn is published dates from 
the Greek period. We do not know that the goddess was 
worshipped alone in the fifteenth century, though it seems 
probable that she was. If she was then an independent 
mother goddess, she might long before the third century 
have become in some localities the consort of Hadad. In 
this latter character she was practically identical with 
Atargatis. From this fact it follows that from the first 
she must have been the old mother goddess under another 
name. She was probably known among the Aramaeans 
much earlier than this, for she seems to have been known 
to Khammurabi,! king of Babylon about 2300 B.C. The 
name of this goddess also appears according to our present 
text in three passages of the Old Testament,^ but it is 
thought that in every case the text has been corrupted or 
glossed,^ and that the original reading was Ashtoreth 
(Ash tart). 

Hommel has pointed out that Athirat, the Arabic 
equivalent of Ashera, appears as the consort of the god 
Wadd in a Minsean inscription.* Since the worship of 
the god Hadad found its way into Arabia, both as Hadad 
and as Ramman,^ it may be that the worship of Ashera 
found its way thither from Syria in the same way. This 
is not probable, however, since she appears as the consort 
of the native Arabian god Wadd. Athirat is therefore to 
be regarded as a native Arabian product, brought forth 
by forces analogous to those which produced her Syrian 
counterpart. 

It is a well-known fact that Ashera was in the Old 

1 See King's Letters and Inscriptions of Hamrrmrabi, No. 66, and Hom- 
mel's Aufsiitze iind Abhandlungen, Vol. II, p. 211 it. 

2 Of. Jud. 3', 1 Kgs. 181S, and 2 Kgs. 23*. 

8 Cf. Moore's article "Asherah," §2, in Encyc. Bib., and Budde in 
New World, Vol. VIII, p. 734. 

* Cf. Expository Times, Vol. XI, p. 190, and Aufsdtze und Abhand- 
lungen, Vol. II, p. 206 ff. 

' See above, p. 227. 



248 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



Testament period a post or pole which was planted by the 
altars of the different gods,^ which was sometimes carved 
into revolting shapes,^ and probably sometimes draped.^ 
G. Hoffmann has shown* that these posts originally 
marked the limits of the sacred precincts of the shrine, 
and in the Ma' sub inscription the name is equivalent to 
" sacred enclosure." Moore finds ^ in this the explanation 
of the use of the word in Assyrian {asMrtu, ashrdti, 
esMrtu, eshrdti), in the sense of sanctuary. 

It is probable that the application of the name to the 
goddess arose from the connection of these points with 
her sanctuary. If one or more of these were carved into 
a rude representation of the goddess, it would be very 
natural for the name to pass from the post to the deity. 

This seems to have happened independently in three 
centres, — in Arabia, in Syria, and in Assyria.^ This pro- 
cess did not in any way change the nature or the functions 
of the deity, but simply gave her a new name. As pointed 
out above, Ashera is in the El-Amarna tablets the goddess 
of a tribe, and, it may be added, of a sheik who was the 
head of a tribe. The suggestion made in 1895 ^ that the 
Bne-Ebed- Ashera is the same clan, or the nucleus of it, 
which appears in the Old Testament as Asher, still seems 
most probable. The Egyptian monuments show that 
under Seti and Rameses II of the nineteenth Egyptian 
dynasty this tribe was still in Palestine.^ The Israelitish 
traditions classed it with the children of Jacob's concu- 
bines, showing that they had a consciousness that it was 
among the latest to join the Israelitish confederacy. It is 
therefore probably a tribe of Aramaic extraction, which 
became amalgamated with the Israelites after their settle- 
ment in Canaan. 

■^ Cf. Moore's article "Ashera" in Encyc. Bib., and mine on same 
Bubject in Jewish Encyclopedia. 

2 1 Kgs. 1512. 5 Encyc. Bib., as above, 

a 2 Kgs. 28'. 6 See above, p. 223. 

* Ueber einige phoen. Inschriften, p. 26 ff. ' JBL., Vol. XV, p. 174. 
s See W. Max Miiller's Asien und Europa, p. 230. 



SUBVrVALS 249 



In all probability the goddess of the tribe became a god 
soon after the El-Amarna period, for the name appears on 
the Egyptian monuments in its masculine form, as it does 
in the tribal name in the Old Testament. As the Israel- 
itish nation was welded into a confederacy, the various 
tribal gods were either identified with Yahwe or banished. 
While the latter seems to have been the fate of the god of 
the tribe of Gad,i the former was the fortune of the god 
of the tribe of Asher. This appears from the fact to 
which Hommel has called attention,^ that in Deut. 33^ 
Asher is an alternative name of Yahwe. ^ 

As the Phcenicians in their restless movements for 
trade and colonization progressed westward, they carried 
the worship of the goddess Ashtart with them, and scat- 
tered it all over the islands and shores of the Mediter- 
ranean. In many of the localities where it was thus 
planted it can afterward be traced. For the present 
we shall confine our attention to localities where the 
Semitic element continued to be tolerably distinct. There 
are several of the islands of the Mediterranean where this 
was the case. The sources of our information are Phoe- 
nician inscriptions, Greek inscriptions, and Greek and 
Roman writers. In the Greek sources the goddess is 
usually called Aphrodite, and in the Latin, Venus; but 
there can be no doubt of the identity of the divinity of 
whom they speak. 

In the island of Cyprus, which lies nearest to the coast 
of Phoenicia, this Semitic worship was naturally planted 
at a very early time — how early we cannot tell. In the 
Homeric poems Aphrodite is already spoken of as Cyprian,* 
and her temple at Paphos is referred to.^ It was then no 

1 See Isa. 651^, and cf. Oriental Studies of the Oriental Olub of 
Philadelphia, p. 108. 

" Aufsdtz und Abhandlungen, Vol. II, p. 209. 

3 The passage should be translated, "Happy art thou, Israel, a 
people saved by Yahwe, the shield of thy help, and Asher, the sword of 
thy excellency." 

■• Iliad, V, 330. ^ Odyssey, VIII, 362 ff. 



250 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



doubt very old. Tradition assigned its foundation to one 
Cinyras,^ who plays a considerable part in Cyprian my- 
thology. The priests of the Paphian shrine were after- 
ward supposed to be his descendants and bore his name.^ 
Of the early history of this worship we have no real data. 
These Greek legends and myths can hardly be historicaL 
A number of the German Assyriologists believe that the 
letters of the king of Alashia^ to the king of Egypt, 
which were found in the El-Amarna correspondence, are 
really letters from Cyprus ; but even if they are, they make 
no mention of religious matters, and so leave us as much 
in the dark with reference to the religious status of the 
island in the fifteenth century B.C. as though we did not 
possess them. The Greek inscriptions written in the 
Cypriotic syllabary testify to the existence of the goddess 
at Paphos, but do little more than that.* Monuments have 
been recovered which were dedicated to the goddess at 
Paphos on behalf of various Ptolemies from 164-88 e.g.,' 
as well as on behalf of the Roman Emperor Tiberius.* 
These attest that the worship was flourishing during those 
centuries. From Strabo'^ and Pausanias^ we learn that 
the shrine at Paphos was still important in their days, 
while Johannes Lydus * in the sixth century a.d. implies 
that the worship had then ceased. 

At Kition, in the southeastern part of the island, traces of 
a temple of Ash tart also appear, i" We lack, however, the 
means of tracing its history. One fragmentary inscrip- 

1 Iliad, XI, 19-23, and Tacitus, Hist., II, 2, 3. 

= Tacitus, Hist., II, 2, 3. 

» Cf. KB., Vol. V, Nos. 25-32. 

* Cf. Collitz, Sammlung der griechischen Dialekt-Inschriften, Gottin- 
gen, 1884. Vol. I, p. 13, No. 1. 

5 Cf. Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. IX, pp. 229-231, No. 14 ; p. 
232 ff., No. 21 ; p. 233 ff.. No. 24 ; p. 240, No. 50. 

' Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. IX, p. 227, No. 6. 

' XIV, 6, 3 (683). 

8 VIII, 5, 2. 

' Be Mensibus, IV, 45. 

w Cf. cm, Pt. I, Vol. I, Nos. 11 and 86. 



SURVIVALS 251 



tion ^ reveals the fact that a large temple retinue, consist- 
ing of sacred prostitutes ^ or priests, slaughterers, barbers, 
and slaves were maintained. These facts vouch for the 
identity of the worship at Kition with other phases of the 
primitive Semitic cult. 

The temple of Ashtart at Paphos has been excavated 
and its form may be studied in considerable detail.^ It 
was evidently a Semitic temple, built on the same general 
plan as the temple of Solomon at Jerusalem, but with con- 
siderable variation in details. It was more than once in 
later times destroyed by earthquakes, and rebuilt by the 
Romans.* In the temple there was no statue of the god- 
dess, but she was represented by an old Semitic masseba.^ 
Doves were sacred to her^ and many images of them 
have been found in her temple. She was regarded as a 
mother goddess, and was addressed as " mother." The 
Semitic feast of the old mother goddess was kept to her in 
the springtime, when a lamb or sheep was sacrificed to 
her.' Only male victims were sacrificed to her, and kids 
were regarded as the best for the purposes of divination, 

1 CIS., Pt. I, Vol. I, No. 86. 

* It is probably thus that the term, D'sbs, "dogs," should be inter- 
preted. The term occurs in Deut. 2.3"- 1', where it seems to mean " male 
priestly prostitute " (cf. Driver's Deuteronomy, p. 264 ff., and Steuerna- 
gle's Deuteronomium und Joshua, p. 86 ff.). Clement of Alexandria so 
understood the term and rendered it "fornicator" {Paidagogos, III, 3). 
One consecrated to a god was perhaps so called because of his fidelity 
in following his god (cf. W. R. Smith, Beligion of the Semites, 2d ed., p. 
292). We have a Biblical instance in Caleb, i.e., "the dog who followed 
Tahwe" in Num. 321^. This usage probably extended to Babylonia, for 
the real names of the kings of Shirpurla, commonly called Ur-Nina and Ur- 
Bau, were probably Kalbi-Nina and Kalbi-Bau (cf. Radau, Early Baby- 
lonian History, p. 144) i.e. "Dog of Nina" and "Dog of Bau." 

8 Cf. Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. IX, pp. 19.3-215. 

* Cf . Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. IX, p. 193. 

« Tacitus, Hist., II, 3; Serv. Aen., I, 720. Cf. Hehraica, Vol. X, 
p. 46 ff. 

« Antiphanes, ap. Athen., VI, 71, p. 257 ; XIV, 70, p. 655, and the 
"PaphisB columbsB" of Martial (VIII, 28). 

' Johannes Lydus, De Mensihus, 45. 



262 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



in whicli her priests were thought to be especially skilf ul.i 
No blood was shed upon her altar, and though the masseba 
stood in the open air it was thought that it was never 
rained upon.^ The devotees of the goddess were initiated 
by impure rites,^ and parents often dedicated their children 
to the goddess.* In later times there was much admixture 
of Greek elements into the Paphian worship, but never- 
theless the Semitic type of goddess on the whole pre- 
vailed.^ It was from Cyprus as the Greeks themselves 
believed that the worship of Aphrodite spread to the 
islands and coast lands of Greece. 

In Crete the worship of this goddess was also estab- 
lished at an early time, and the Cretans themselves be- 
lieved that their island was the original home of the cult.® 
In the island of Rhodes she was worshipped along with 
Apollo and Jisculapius,^ who were no doubt originally 
Baal and Eshmun,^ but who through Greek influence were 
transformed into Greek gods. Her worship was also 
planted in the island of Malta by a Phcenician colony,* 
though the traces of it which remain are slight. A very 
important and ancient seat of it was at Eryx in the island 
of Sicily, whence its influence spread through that island 
to Carthage, and into many parts of Italy, extending 

1 Tacitus, Sist., II, 3. 

2 Tacitus, Hist., II, 3. 

8 Clement of Alexandria, Protreptikos pros Hellenes,' pp. 12, 13 ; 
Arnotiius, adv. Oentes, V, 19 ; Justin, XVIII, 5. Herodotus, after describ- 
ing the impure rites of this goddess at Babylon (I, 199), adds, "In some 
parts of Cyprus there is a custom very similar." 

* Cf. Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. IX, p. 228, No. 8 ; p. 235, No. 
33 ; p. 236, Nos. 35, 39 ; p. 237, Nos. 41, 42. 

5 Cf. Dyer, 27i6 Gods of Greece, oh. vii, and Driver in Hastings's Dic- 
tionary of the Bible, Vol. I, p. 170. That vegetation was thought to be 
connected with the goddess in Cyprus as in ancient Arabia is shovni in 
Ohnefalsch-Richter's Kypros, pp. 118-126. 

s Cf. Diodorus Siculus, V, 77, and Farnell, Cults of the Greek States, 
Vol. II, pp. 631-633. 

' Cf. Bull, de Corr. Hell, 1880, p. 139. 

8 See cm, Ft. I, Vol. I, No. 143 ; cf. also JAOS., Vol. XXP, p. 188 fl. 

« Cf. CIS., Pt. I, Vol. I, No. 132. 



SURVIVALS 253 

especially to Rome.i In Sicily the goddess was as else- 
where served by a troop of female priestesses,^ whose 
character and functions we can from our previous knowl- 
edge easily divine. Here the dove was also sacred to the 
goddess, and there were two feasts, in reality parts of the 
same festival, the dates of which were supposed to be con- 
nected with the flight of the doves. ^ This cult may be 
traced further among the islands and into the mainland of 
Greece and Italy, but that task belongs rather to another 
part of the work,* since the goddess there took on such a 
foreign character. It is clear from the evidence already 
cited that in the Phoenician colonies of the Mediterranean 
islands all the essential features of the old Semitic mother 
goddess were preserved. At each sanctuary a certain 
local coloring was given to her myths as was natural and 
as was the case in other places, nevertheless she remained 
the unmarried mother goddess, fostering sexual love, 
maintaining a retinue of priests and priestesses who kept 
the atmosphere of social life impure bj^ perpetuating under 
the guise of religion the long outgrown customs of a 
barbarous civilization. 

It has already been pointed out^ that the Semitic mother 
goddess, whose ciilt we can trace through so many countries, 
was also established in North Africa. There, in the period 
from which our Punic inscriptions come, she seems to have 
been in part subordinate to, and in part superior to, her 
masculine counterpart Baal-Hamman. The name by which 
she was known in Africa was Tanith, which was, perhaps, 
given her as the one who increased life and blessings.^ 

1 Cf. Diodorus Siculus, IV, 83 ; Paus. VIII, 24, 6 ; Polybius, I, 55 ; 
Strabo, VI, 2, 5 ; and Virg. Aen., I, 750. 

2 Strabo, VI, 2, 5. * Chapter VIII. 
' JElian, De Natura Anamalium, IV, 2. ^ Above, p. 150. 

^ Georg Hofimann, Ueber einige Phoen. Inschr., p. 32, holds that the 
name is a rebus, made from the final letters of mrH^U, IS)n"'?153 and mi- 
He believes that the Greek Ai5u, AetSu came from a corrupt pronunciation, 
in which the t's were hardened to d's and then J assimilated as in nO- This 
is ingenious, but it is not convincing. I would, with all reserve, suggest 



254 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



The superiority of Tanith to Baal is shown in the fact 
that in the votive inscriptions she is regularly addressed 
first ; ^ her subordination to him, in the fact that officially 
he seems to have been the head of their pantheon. ^ That 
she held the chief place in the popular thought is shown 
by the fact that no prayer for life and blessings seems to 
have been complete which did not include an address to 
her.^ As pointed out above, the goddess had at some 
time passed in part through the process of transformation 
from feminine to masculine, Baal-Hamman being in fact a 
differentiation from her.* She was still represented by an 
image, feminine in form but with a bearded face, and is, 
therefore, addressed continually as " Tanith with the face 
of Baal." 6 

Tanith was a mother goddess, and upon her feast days 
songs were sung and deeds were enacted which, according 
to Augustine, shocked all modesty.® Georg Hoffmann 
has pointed ouf^ that Dido is but another form of the 
name Tanith, and the identification is accepted by others.' 
It is no doubt correct to see in Dido another form of 

that possibly the name is a noun of the form of the infinitive from the 
stem [m (cf. Arab. , .jj. and Bth. watan). Such infinitives are formed 
by the elision of the 1 and the addition of n, and are not uncommon in 
all the great branches of Semitic speech (cf. Barth, Nominalbildung 
in den semitischen Sprachen [1889], p. 122). The fourth stem of this root 
means in Arabic "to multiply," "increase." The only place vfhere it 
occurs in north Semitic so far as I have observed is in Phoenician, where 
it appears naturally as ]tT, and is used as a synonym of ]n, "to give" 
(of. the references in Bloch's Phoenicsiches Glossar, p. 33). If thus 
derived, the name would mean "the giver," "multiplier," or "increaser," 
and would be most fitting for a goddess of fertility. 

1 Cf. the hundreds of votive inscriptions from North Africa in CIS., 
Pt. I, Vol. I, No. 180 ff., and those published by Berger in Actes du 
onziime congres international des orientalistes, Pt. IV, p. 273 fi. 

2 Cf. CIS., Pt. I, Vol. I, Nos. 165, 167. » Ibid. 
* Above, p. 150. 

8 See the references in n. 1, and also JAOS., Vol. XXP, p. 187. 

° De Civitate Dei, II, 4. 

' See reference in p. 253, n. 6. 

8 Cf. W. R. Smith, Religion of the Semites, 2d ed., p. 374. 



SURVIVALS 255 



Tanith, whether the name be the same, or whether it be 
derived from another epithet. ^ This identification enables 
us to see in the tale of Dido's love for ^neas ^ told by 
Virgil, another evidence of the survival in Tanith of the 
peculiar characteristics of love which were embodied in 
the old Semitic deity. Indeed it is probable, as Farnell 
has pointed out,^ that the whole ^neas story is but a 
translation into poetry of the myths of this cult. 

In later times, as other Phoenicians came into North 
Africa, they brought with them anew the worship of Ash- 
tart, so that at times Ashtart and Tanith appear side by side 
as different goddesses.* This is a late phenomenon, how- 
ever, and by no means disproves the original identity of 
the two. 

In course of time the cult of the Phrygian Cybele pene- 
trated North Africa, and was probably fused with the 
cult of Tanith. The pressure also of the ascetic reaction 
against the gross practices of this cult led, as it had done 
at Petra,* to the representation of the goddess as a celes- 
tial virgin.^ But we have Augustine's testimony that her 
virginity was not of a very pure type. It is she, no doubt, 
to whom Tertullian refers under the name of Ceres.' 

The temple of Tanith-Dido was situated a little outside 
the old city of Carthage, and in the fourth century of our 
era was surrounded by a thorny jungle, which the popular 
imagination pictured as filled with asps and dragons, the 
guardians of her sanctuary.^ Outside its walls a pyre 

^ It may be from the Semitic root in, "love," from which the name 
David comes. Winckler thinks that in old Hebrew and Phoenician fn 
was the genus loci, Greek Sal/iay. AUorient. Forschungen, pp. 339- 
342. 

2 ^nid, IV. 

« Cults of the Greek States, Vol. II, pp. 638-642. 

* Cf. Lidzbarski, Ephemeris fur semitische Epigraphik, Vol. I, p. 24. 

5 Above, p. 233 ff. 

« Augustine, De Civitate Dei, II, 4. 

' Cf. Tertullian, Ad Uxorem, I, 6, and De Exhor. Cast., 15. 

8 See the evidence cited in W. B. Smith's Seligion of the Semites, 2d 
ed., p. 374, and especially Justin, XIX, 1. 



256 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



was erected each year, and the goddess was thought to 
throw herself into the flames.^ As Virgil represents this 
as done from love of vEneas, it was probably originally a 
part of the mourning for her beloved Adonis, who was 
evidently worshipped here.^ This topic will be treated 
more fully below. 

Passing now from the West to the East, we have some 
of the oldest historical traces of the survival of this cult 
at Erech, the ancient Uruk, modern Warka, in southern 
Babylonia. Possibly the goddesses which survived at 
Shirpurla are older, or equally old. These the exigencies 
of our argument led us to treat in a previous chapter,^ so 
that no more need be said of them here. The first dis- 
tinct mention of Ishtar of Erech is in the inscriptions of 
Lugalzaggisi, about 4000 B.C. If she is mentioned at all 
earlier than that, it is by the kings of Shirpurla, and they 
do not distinguish her from the Nana of their own city. 
Lugalzaggisi calls her by the epithets Umu and Nina- 
gidkhadu, calls her priestess and mistress of Erech.* 
Later, if I do not misinterpret him, he calls Erech the 
land of Ishtar.^ Something like twelve or fifteen hun- 
dred years later Ur-Gur^ and Dungi,'^ of the kingdom 
of Ur, repaired her temple. Ur-Ninib,^ Libit-Ishtar,^ and 

1 See references in preceding note. 

2 See the article " The Genesis of the God Eshmun," JAOS., Vol. XXP, 
pp. 188-190. Above, p. 185 ff. 

* OBI., No. 87, col. i, 11. 30-34; cf. Eadau, Early Babylonian History, 
p. 183. 

5 Ibid., col. ii, 1. 43 ff. It reads: KI NANA URUG-ki-i LU DAGAL 
GUR-A-KIM MUR MU-DA-GIL, i.e. "The land of Ishtar, Erech, like a 
sheep ready for shearing, I walled in with bricks." This reading presup- 
poses that the determinative dingir has been omitted before Nana, and the 
gunu signs from the ideogram for Erech. Such mistakes are not impos- 
sible in this inscription: Cf. RU for NI, col. iii, 1. 37, and the variant. 
Radau, op. cit., reads KI NANA URUG as Ki-inanni-ab. 

6 I R., 1, No. 6. Cf. KB., Vol. IIP, p. 79. 

' I R., 1, No. 3. Cf. KB., Vol. IIIi, p. 81. Also OBI., No. 15 ; cf. Radau, 
op. cit., p. 226. 

8 IV R., 35, No. 5. Cf. KB., Vol. IIIi, p. 85. Cf. also OBI, No. 18. 
« I R., 3, No. 18. Cf. JTB., Vol. 111^ p. 87. 



SURVIVALS 267 



Ishmi-Dagan,! all of tlie dynasty of Isin, by repairing her 
temple, or in some other way indicate their reverence for 
her. About the year 2280 B.C. her temple at Erech was 
destroyed by the Elamites, who captured a statue of her 
and took it to Elam.^ It was probably the warfare con- 
nected with this episode which has become the nucleus of 
the Gilgamish epic.^ 

In the middle Babylonian period Karaindash (about 
1450 B.C.) consecrated to her an inscription.* Later, in 
the seventh century, Esarhaddon restored her temple and 
worshipped her,^ and Assurbanipal brought back from 
Elam the idol which had been taken thither from Erech 
1635 years before.® In the next century Nebuchadnezzar 
once more repaired her temple,'^ and after this time we lose 
sight of her history. The temple upon which so many 
kings had worked was called lanna, a name which it kept 
from century to century. 

These various sovereigns by their devotion attest the 
importance of the goddess of Erech, but our chief source 
of information concerning her is the Gilgamish epic. 
This epic is composed of different strata which had their 
origin in different periods and different centres, and which 
are collected about the struggles of the hero Gilgamish, 
against the Elamites, probably in the war of about 2280 
B.c.^ In one of the oldest strata of the poem, Ishtar, 
under the name Aruru,^ is represented as making a man 
from a bit of clay as Yahwe does in the second chapter of 

1 1 R., 2, No. 5, I and II. Cf. ^S., Vol. IIP, p. 87. 

* V R., 6, 107 ff. Cf. KB., Vol. II, p. 209 ff. 

» Cf. Haupt, Mmrodepos, pp. 24, 57, and KB., Vol. VI, p. 159 fi. 

* IV R., 36, No. 3. Cf. KB., Vol. III^, p. 153. 

s Cf. PA08., May, 1891, Sebraica, Vol. VIII, p. 113 &., and Vol. X, 
p. 8ff. 

^ See references under n. 2. 

T Cf. I R., 65, col. II. 50 ff., KB., Vol. IIP, pp. 36, 37, and V R., 
34, col. II. 33, KB., Vol. nP, pp. 42, 43; also Hebraica, Vol. X, 
pp. 12, 13. 

' Cf. Jastrow, Beligion of Babylonia and Assyria, ch. xxiii. 

' See Jastrow, Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 448. 
s 



258 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



Genesis.^ A little later this man, who is covered with 
hair and is thoroughly wild, consorting only with beasts, 
is enticed by intercourse with one of Ishtar's consecrated 
harlots ^ to abandon his animals and to enter upon civilized 
life. In this story, as already pointed out,^ we have the 
survival of one of the primitive notions connected with 
the Semitic mother goddess, viz. : the fact that civilization 
arose from consciousness of sex. In appreciation of this 
fact there were maintained for Ishtar, at Erech, three 
classes of harlot priestesses.* Here, too, those rites which 
Herodotus calls shameful ^ were also cherished. 

In another part of this epic, which is also old, Ishtar 
is represented as a deified woman of the early Semitic 
times, who changed her husbands at will.® Tammuz, the 
husband of her youth, she brought to mourning each year ; 
various animals — for the myth originated in a totemistic 
age^ — had been married by her, and through her had 
come to grief. She then desired to wed Gilgamish, but 
he, learning wisdom by what the others had suffered, 
declined the honor. Such conceptions of her are another 
proof of the character of the goddess which was fostered 
at Erech. In order that Gilgamish should not escape her, 
Ishtar had a bull created to torment him. These myths 
which represent the goddess as such a harmful being, 
probably embody in story the perception of the primitive 
Semite that the unrestrained service of this sexual goddess 
was fraught with physical peril. 

1 Cf. Haupt, Mmrodepos, p. 8, KB., Vol. "VI, p. 121. Cf. Jastrow's 
article "Adam and Eve in Babylonian Literature" in AJSL., Vol. XV, 
pp. 193-214. 

' Haupt, op. cit., p. 11; cf. KB., Vol. VI, p. 127. CI Hehraica, Vol. 
X, p. .3. 

8 Above, p. 84. 

* Cf. KB., Vol. VI, pp. 176, 177 ; Jastrovr, Beligion of Babylonia and 
Assyria, p. 475, and Haupt, Nimrodepos, p. 49, 11. 1, 2. 

5 Bk. I, 199. 

6 Haupt, op. cit., p. 42 ff. ; KB., Vol. VI, p. 171. Cf. Hehraica, Vol. 
X, p. 5 ff. 

' Above, p. 37. 



SURVIVALS 259 



The eleventh tablet of the epic contains the account of 
the flood. This, as Jastrow has pointed out,^ originated 
in connection with the city of Surippak, in quite a differ- 
ent environment from the portions of the story we have 
hitherto considered. As it now stands, however, it is 
probably in mythology assimilated to the rest ; and in it 
Ishtar is the mother of mankind who mourns that her off- 
spring is destroyed.^ 

It is clear from a passage in the sixth tablet of the epic 
already referred to,^ that the custom of wailing for Tam- 
muz was a part of the ritual of the Ishtar cult at Erech. 
It is possible that the myth embodied in the poem which 
celebrates Ishtar's descent to the lower world originated, 
or at least was cherished, at Erech. I formerly held on 
mythological grounds that it was probably connected 
especially with Nineveh,* but the same mythological data 
would lead us to connect it with Khallabi^ and perhaps 
with Shirpurla.^ As the Semitic settlements at these 
latter towns are older than the settlement at Nineveh, it 
can hardly have originated in the latter city. In the Gil- 
gamish epic Ishtar is called daughter of Anu ^ instead of 
daughter of Sin as in Ishtar's descent.^ The idea that she 
was daughter of Anu may not have been the primitive 
one, however, so that it is quite possible that the legend 
of her descent to the lower world belongs to Erech in spite 
of this. Jensen conjectured'* that the idea which finds 
expression in the poem, that the underworld is surrounded 
by seven walls, was, in the first instance, suggested by the 
seven walls of Erech. Be this as it may, if the poem was 
known at Erech, which is very probable, the conception 
which it embodies that when Ishtar disappeared from the 

1 Beligion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 494 ff. 

2 See Haupt, Nimrodepos, p. 139, 11. 117-125, and KB., Vol. VI, p. 239. 

3 Above, p. 258. ^ See below. 

* Hehraica, Vol. IX, p. 145, n. « See above, p. 199. 

7 Cf. Haupt, op at., p. 46, 1. 107, and KB., Vol. VI, p. 173. 

8 Cf. IV R., 31, 2 ; cf. KB., Vol. VI, p. 81. 

* Kosmologie, p. 172 ff. 



260 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



earth, all desire in man and beast ceased,^ would be 
another evidence of the survival at Erech in almost their 
primitive purity of the earliest conceptions of Ishtar. 

Another town where the cult of Ishtar flourished was 
Khallabi, though but few references to her worship there 
have as yet been recovered. From the fact that Khallabi 
is mentioned on a contract tablet of the reign of Cambyses, 
found at Abu-Habba, Jensen concludes that it was situated 
near Sippar.^ We have but two glimpses of this worship, — 
one in the reign of Arad-Sin, king of Larsa,^ and the other 
in that of Khammurabi, king of Babylon.* Beyond the 
fact that there was, in this city, a temple of the goddess 
in which one of these kings placed a votive offering, and 
which the other repaired, we are able to learn little of her 
worship. 

The ideogram for Khallabi occurs without the deter- 
minative for place in one of the inscriptions of Gudea in 
a passage descriptive of one of the goddesses of Shirpurla.* 
The passage is a difficult one as both Jensen and Amiaud 
recognize, but its meaning seems to be rendered clearer if 
we understand the ideogram as Khallabi.^ The fact that 
it lacks the determinative for place is not a serious objec- 
tion to this interpretation, since Shirpurla itself is some- 

iIV E., 31, 76 ff., and KB., Vol. VI, p. 87. 

'^ Cf. Strassmaier's Cambyses, No. 48, 1. 2, and Jensen, KB., Vol. IIP, 
p. 106, n. 6. Cf. also Zimmern, ZA., Vol. Ill, p. 97. 
3 PSBA., Vol. XIII, pp. 158, 159. 
* KB., Vol IIl\ p. 106 ff. 

5 On statue r, De Sarzeo, Decouvertes, pi. 14, col. 1, 1. 16 ; cf. Amiaud, 
Mecords of the Fast, New Ser., Vol. II, p. 98, and Jensen, KB., Vol. IIIi, 
pp. 54, 55. 

6 The passage would then read : (1. 12) i)jn</j>-GA-TUM-DU6 (13) 
NIN-A-NI (14) SHm-PUR-LA-i:i (16) URU-KI-AG-GA-NI-TA (16) TE- 
UNU-USLANUGUNU-ZA-A (col. ii, 1. 1) MU-NI-TU-DA-A (2)E- 
di«£rir-GA-TUM-DUG (3) NIN-A-NA (4) RU-NI, i.e. "To Gatumdug, 
his mistress for (the salie of) Shirpurla, the city which she loved (at) 
Khallabi, where she bore him, the temple of Gatumdug, his mistress, 
he built." On this view the ideogram for Khallabi has the sign TE in 
addition to those which appear in it later, but for TE-UNU = UNU cf. 
Brtinnow, List, No. 7721. For the order and identity of the other signs 



SURVIVALS 261 



times thus defectively written. ^ This passage makes it 
probable that Khallabi was a colony or dependency of 
Shirpurla in the earlier time, and that the worship of the 
goddess reached this town through Shirpurla. 

Passing northward from Babylonia to Assyria, the city 
of Nineveh seems to have been another, town which re- 
garded Ishtar as its tutelary divinity. Her connection 
with this capital of the Assyrian empire is indicated by 
the following facts : (1) The city was called in Assyrian 
Ninua, a name which we have already seen to be a Semi- 
tization through a folk etymology of the Sumerian Nind, 
which was a part of the city of Shirpurla. ^ The identity 
of the two names is shown by the fact that they are 
expressed by the same ideogram. (2) By the fact that 
Ishtar, the goddess of this capital city, is constantly asso- 
ciated with Ashur, the god of the older capital from which 
Assyria took its name, as one of the two leading deities 
of the country. The chief temple in Nineveh, Ibarbar, 
was a temple of Ishtar.^ 

The historical inscriptions of Assyria contain many 
references to this goddess,* but beyond the fact that 
she was considered to be " the firstborn of the gods " 
(i.e. as the source and author of all life), and the 
spouse of Ashur, these inscriptions contain little infor- 
mation concerning her. The fact that a king like 
Assurbanipal could import to Nineveh literature like 
the poem of Ishtar 's descent, suggests that from his 
youth he had known like traditions and like practices 

of the ideogram, cf. Thureau Dangin's Mecherches sur Vorigine Vecriture 
cuneiforme, p. 48. Gatumdug was, as we saw above, sometimes an epi- 
thet of Bau, but here, of Nana. 

1 Cf. De Sarzec, Decouvertes, pi. 31, No. 1, 1. 2 and pi. 2""-, No. 2, col. 
1, 1. 3. 

2 Cf. above, pp. 187 and 196 ff. 

3 Cf. ZA., Vol. V, p. 79, 1. 40, and II R., 66, No. 2, 1. 9 ; Smith's 
Assurbanipal, p. 305, 1. 9 ; also Ilebraica, Vol. IX, p. 143. 

* These are collected in Eebraiaa, Vol. IX, pp. 132-143 and 156, 
157. 



262 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



in connection with tlie worship of the goddess of his 
native city.^ 

Arbela, a city of Assyria to the eastward of Nineveh, 
was also the seat of an old shrine of Ishtar. The begin- 
nings of her worship there are shrouded in a darkness 
even more dense than that which covers the beginnings 
of most of the Mesopotamian cities. We cannot even 
guess from what part of southern Mesopotamia the immi- 
grants who settled Arbela came. The honor in which 
the Ishtar of Arbela was held toward the end of the 
Assyrian empire seems to point to a considerable an- 
tiquity for her worship there, but we obtain historical 
glimpses of it only in the reigns of Sennacherib, Esar- 
haddon, and Assurbanipal.^ By these kings the Ishtar of 
Arbela is distinguished from the Ishtar of Nineveh. In 
the earlier reigns, if such a distinction was made, it has 
not been reflected in the literature hitherto recovered. 

At Arbela, Ishtar continued to the close of Assyrian 
history to be an unmarried mother goddess. As a mother 
she was anxious for the welfare of her people, and conse- 
quently ready to defend them against all their enemies. 
Thus she became the goddess of war, to whom appeal was 
naturally made in times of especial danger.^ In the 
reigns of Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal she seems to have 
been much sought after as the giver of oracles and the 
revealer of the future fortunes of her worshippers.* Con- 
nected with her temple at Arbela there seems to have 
been an observatory from which astronomical reports 
were sent to the king.^ 

These numerous and multiform survivals of the Ishtar 

1 This view is confirmed by Maorobius (Saturnalia, I, 21), who speaks 
of the worship of Adonis among the Assyrians as well as among the 
Phoenicians. 

2 Cf. Hebraica, Vol. IX, pp. 158-163. 
^ Cf. Smith's Assurbanipal, p. 119 ff. 

<Cf. IV R., 61, AJ8L., Vol. XIV, 267-277, and the references in 
Hebraica, Vol. IX, pp. 160, 161. 

^ See, for example, the texts in III R., 51. 



SURVIVALS 263 



cult, which project themselves far into civilizations which 
could never have originated them, are, to him who has 
an eye to read, sufficient evidence of the existence among 
the primitive Semites of such a social order and such a 
religion as that which is outlined in the second and third 
chapters of this work. 

It was suggested in a former chapter ^ that the primi- 
tive Arabic environment and the early Semitic social 
organization combined to create for the primitive Semitic 
pantheon a goddess and her son. The transformations and 
survivals of the goddess having now been traced, it remains 
to inquire to what extent the primitive god, her son, 
survived. In the course of the preceding argument it has 
been frequently pointed out that, where the goddess 
was transformed, the primitive god, her child, may have 
been merged into the resultant god. In many portions of 
the Semitic territory, however, his distinct survival can 
be clearly traced. 

Among the Nabathseans he survived as Dhu-'l-Shara.^ 
The polemics which, in this region as elsewhere, attended 
the propagation of early Christianity, caused the fact to be 
recorded that Dhu-'l-Shara was regarded as the son of the 
old mother goddess.^ Of the cult of this god we have 
little further evidence. The inscriptions which make 
mention of him record the consecration of votive objects 
or invoke his curse upon the violators of tombs. From 
analogy we conclude that he was in character probabl}^ 
identical with Tammuz and Adonis, who were elsewhere 
sons of kindred goddesses. This conjecture receives some 
confirmation from the fact that Herodotus calls him 
Dionysos.* 

In Babylonia this god seems to have survived under 
different forms. The Sumerian name by which he is most 
commonly known is Dumu-zi, or Tammuz, " child of life." 
Although this name is once applied to a goddess,^ it ordi- 

1 Chapter III, p. 85 ff. ' Cf. Epiphanius, Panarion, LI. 

2 CIS., Pt. II, Vol. I, No. 190-199. < Bk. Ill, 8. ^ Atove, p. 211 ff. 



264 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



narily refers to a god who is variously called the " offspring," ^ 
"the son of Ishtar," ^ and the "husband of her youth. "^ 
He was supposed to die periodically and was then bewailed. 
Ishtar, once at least, and, perhaps, regularly, was thought 
to go to the underworld for him and to bring him back to 
life.* He is generally recognized as a god of vegetation ^ 
and of the underworld.® 

At Shirpurla there was a god called Ningishzida, who 
was associated with the goddess Bau,^ and who seems to 
have possessed many of the characteristics of Tammuz. 
In the Adapa legend Ningishzida and Tammuz are classed 
together and play the same part ; both are intercessors for 
the life of Adapa, and both are keepers of the gate of Anu.^ 
As pointed out above,^ Ningishzida seems to have been a 
transformed Ishtar, but if so, Tammuz has been swallowed 
up in him. The way in which, in Semitic antiquity, the 
name of a deity constituted that deity a separate person- 
ality is well illustrated by the way Tammuz and Ningish- 
zida are in the Adapa story put side by side as two distinct 
gods. 

Jensen regards Tammuz as chthonic ; ^^ Jastrow regards 
him as a solar deity. ^^ Probably both are right. If, as we 
suppose,^^ he was associated by primitive Semites with 
objects in an oasis, he was a chthonic god connected with 
vegetation. The yearly death of vegetation and its sub- 
sequent resurrection would, since it corresponded to the 
movements of the sun, naturally lead in time to the identi- 
fication of Tammuz with the sun. That would, however, 
be a later view. In primitive times the god was chthonic. 

In Phoenicia and the West the same god sur%dved under 

I II R., 36, 54. 2 II R., 59, col. ii, 1. 9. 

8 IV R., 31, 47, and Nimrodepos, p. 44 ; cf. KB., Vol. VI, pp. 168, 169. 

* IV R., 31, and Jeremias's Leben nach dem Tode. 

6 Jensen, Kosmologie, p. 197 ff. » Cf. KB., Vol. VI, pp. 96-99. 

^ Jensen, op. cit., p. 225. ^ p. 190 ff. 

' Above, p. 190 ff. i" Kosmologie, p. 197 fl. 

^1 Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 547 ff. 
^2 Hehraica, Vol. X, p. 74, and above, p. 85 ff. 



SURVIVALS 266 



other names. Although Ezekiel called him Tammuz,i 
Ezekiel lived in Babylonia and no doubt used the Baby- 
lonian name or a corrupted form of it,^ — a name otherwise 
unknown in the West.^ The clearest description of the 
god which we have for this part of the Semitic world is 
Lucian's account of the worship of Adonis at Biblos 
(Gebal).* Here the myth had it that the god was killed 
by the tusk of a boar, and the reddening of the river by 
the highly colored soil was held to be the result of shed- 
ding the blood of the god. The sexual rites connected 
with his worship at this place make it very clear that his 
cult was a survival from primitive Semitic times. Later, 
the myth was interpreted as a nature myth, the tusk of 
the boar being regarded as the inclement winter and the 
resurrection of the god as his victory over the first six 
signs of the zodiac.^ 

The name Adonis, by which Lucian designates this deity, 
is simply the Semitic epithet Adon, "Lord"; it was not 
the real name of the god. As I have pointed out else- 
where,^ the real name of this deity was probably Eshmun. 
The reasons for considering Eshmun as a Tammuz are : 
1. That the epithet Adon was frequently applied to Esh- 
mun, as the name Eshmun-Adon, which was quite popular, 
shows. 2. Eshmun was a very popular god among the 
Phoenicians, — as popular as one would expect Tammuz to 
be. 3. Eshmun was a god of the healing art and was 
identified with the Greek ^sculapius.'^ Several scholars 
identify him also with lolaos, who in a Semitic myth in 
Greek dress, saved the life of Heracles.^ Similar charac- 

1 Ch. 8". " Dumuzu or Duzu. Cf. atove, p. 263. 

' Cf. Baethgen, Beitrdge zur semitischen Heligionsgeschichte, p. 44. 
Cf. also JAOS., Vol. XXP, p. 188. 

* De Syria Dea, §§6, 8 ; quoted above, p. 245. 

» Macrobius, Saturnalia, I, 21. « JAOS., Vol. XXP, p. 188 ff. 

' CIS., Pt. I, Vol. I, No. 143. On ^sculapius, cf. Dyer's Gods of 
Greece, pp. 220-256. 

8 See W. R. Smith, Beligion of the Semites, 2d ed., p. 469, and Pietsch- 
Biann, Phcenizier, p. 181. 



266 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



teristics seem to have pertained to Tammuz. If Jeremias 
is correct in his interpretation of the enigmatical lines at 
the end of the poem on Ishtar's descent to the lower 
world,^ appeal could be made, on the day of Tammuz, for 
the restoration of the dead to life. Such restoration was 
but a heightened form of healing the sick. 4. As the 
worship of Tammuz was closely connected with the wor- 
ship of Ishtar-Ashtart, so was the worship of Eshmun ; 
and also as we should naturally expect with that of Baal, 
the transformed Ashtart. At Carthage, Tanith-Ashtart 
and Baal were worshipped in the temple of Eshmun;^ 
while Hannibal in ratifying the treaty with Philip of 
Macedon, swore by Heracles (Baal) and lolaos (Esh- 
mun) .^ Once Eshmun and Ashtart are compounded into a 
single deity,* — a fact which points strongly to a conscious- 
ness of identity of function, — an identity which in turn 
points to kinship of origin. At Si don his worship was 
very popular and took rank with that of Baal and Ashtart.^ 
At Kition and Idalion in Cyprus, where there were im- 
portant temples of Ashtart,^ the worship of Eshmun also 
flourished. This is proven by the many proper names on 
the monuments from these places, into which the name 
Eshmun enters as an element. Eshmun was, in the same 
region, called "Melqart," as several inscriptions show.^ 
This title, meaning " king of the city," applies usually to 
the Tyrian Baal, and its application to Eshmun probably 
indicates a conscious unioia of Eshmun with that Baal.^ 
Such a union with Baal, like the union with Ashtart, points 
to a similarity of function, and consequently of origin, for 
the two gods. As Baal was a transformed Ashtart, this 

1 Cf. Leben nach dem Tode, p. 7. ^ Polybius, vii, 9, 2. 

2 cm, Pt. I, Vol. I, No. 252. ' CIS., Pt. I, Vol. I, No. 245. 
^ Ibid., No. 3. 

6 Cf. CIS. , as above, No. 86, Journal of Hellenic Studies, 1888, pp. 
175-206 ; Tacitus, Historia, II, 2, 3 ; Pausanias, viii, 6, 2, etc. 

' CIS., Pt. I, Vol. I, Nos. 24-28. 

8 See the article "West Semitic Deities with Compound Names" in 
JBL.,Vo\. XX, p. 22 ff. 



SURVIVALS 267 



fact points ultimately to a primitive Semitic origin for 
both Ashtart and Eshmun, — or in other words to the fact 
that Eshmun was a Tammuz. 5. With Eshmun as JEscu- 
lapius there are associated two accounts^ of exposure to 
death and deliverance from it which approximate the 
death and resurrection of Tammuz. These accounts are 
probably variant versions of the myth which Lucian tells 
of Adonis at Gebal. In all probability, therefore, the 
god who is called Tammuz in Babylonia, Dhu-'l-Shara in 
north Arabia, and was known to the Greeks at Gebal as 
Adonis, was known among the Phcsnicians generally as 
Eshmun.^ This variety of name is due to the fact that 
the primitive Semitic appellation did not survive. 

The myth of the death of the deity sometimes attached 
to the primitive goddess rather than to the god. This was 
apparently the case at Carthage, where Dido, it was said, 
yearly threw herself to death. ^ Such a variation is another 
indication of the close connection between the primitive 
goddess and her son. 

In primitive Arabia the conditions of the country would 
produce two kinds of clans. On the oases the communal 
clan, devoted to the worship of the mother goddess, would 
flourish.* The flocks and the caravan trade would lead to 
the organization of the republican clan, the more hazard- 
ous life of which would lead to the worship of the ideal 
masculine character. Such clans are found in Arabia 
to-day,^ and doubtless were called into existence in prehis- 
toric times by the peculiar economic character of Arabia. 

1 Cf. Pausanias, II, 26*^. 

2 What the name of Eshmun means and how it originated, it is hard 
to say. It was probahly originally some kind of an epithet. Of the sug- 
gestions made, the one most worthy of credence is, perhaps, that of 
Lagarde {Qr. Uebers. der Prow., p. 81), and repeated by W. R. Smith 
(lieligion of the Semites, 2d ed., p. 469), viz.: that the name is to be 

connected with the Arabic jL^-w/, "quail," because in the myth lolaos 
brought Heracles to life by giving him a quail to smell of. 

8 Cf. "W. R. Smith, lieligion of the Semites, 2d ed., pp. 374, 410, and 
above, p. 256 fl. * See above, p. 30. * Cf. above, p. 72, n. 1. 



268 



SEMITIC ORIGINS 



Among such clans the worship of Tammuz would be prac- 
tised, and as they migrated it would be diffused. Depend- 
ent as these clans were upon the oases for much of their 
nourishment, they would long perpetuate the myth that 
their god was the son of the goddess of the oases. The 
survival of Tammuz, Dhu-'l-Shara, Adon, and Eshmun 
was most natural. The widespread cult is accounted for 
by primitive Semitic social conditions, and in turn is an 
important link in the chain of evidence which enables us 
to restore the outlines of that far-off social and religiouA 
organization. 



CHEONOLOGICAL TABLE 



El-Amama tablets, oir. 1400 b.c. 
Exodus from Egypt, cir. 1250. 
Israel Invaded Canaan, cir. 1200. 
David became king, cir. 1000. 
Kingdom divided, 937. 
Ahab king of Israel, 876-854. 
The Prophet Amos, cir. 760. 
The Prophet Hosea, oir. 745. 
The Prophet Isaiah, 740-700. 
Fall of Northern Kingdom, 722. 
Manasseh king of Judah, 696-641. 
Josiah king of Judah, 639-608. 
Jeremiah the Prophet, 627-cir. 580. 
Josiah's reform, 621. 
The Prophet Ezekiel, 593-570. 
Destruction of Jerusalem, 586. 



The second Isaiah, cir. 545. 

Cyrus captured Babylon and per- 
mitted return of Jews, 538. 

Second Temple completed, 516. 

Nehemiah, governor of Jerusalem, 
444. 

Jews pass under Greek rule, 332. 

Jews under Egyptian Ptolemies, 
323-198. 

Jews pass finally under Seleucids of 
Antiooh, 198. 

Earliest parts of Enoch, 200-170. 

Maccabsean revolt, 168-165. 

Jews independent under Simon and 
the Asmonseans, 143-63. 

Judea passes under Roman sway, 63. 



CHAPTER VII 

TAHWE 

In sketching the transformations which the primitive 
Semitic goddess underwent^ as the Semites wandered 
from their Arabian home into other environments, no 
mention was made of Yah we, the God of Israel. This 
omission was not accidental. No deity of the old Semitic 
world compares in importance with Yahwe ; the worship- 
pers of no other god contributed to the sum of humanity's 
ethical ideas and spiritual conceptions a tithe of the value 
of that contributed by the worshippers of Yahwe. The 
importance of Yahwe, therefore, demands that a separate 
chapter should be devoted to him. It is evident to one 
who has followed with any sympathy the argument of the 
preceding pages that the religion of the Semites as a whole 
moved forward by a process of evolution in which it was 
subject to certain great principles of general application. 
Is the religion of Israel subject in any degree to these 
great principles ? Is its God Yahwe connected at all with 
that primitive Semitic root from which we have found 
nearly all other Semitic gods to spring ? If he is, can it 
be claimed that there is in the Old Testament any special 
revelation of permanent religious value ? These are ques- 
tions which we must now try to answer, and it is the 
writer's belief that to each one of these an affirmative 
reply can be given. 

The critical study of the Old Testament, which has 
seemed to some to destroy the historical and religious 
value of the earlier books of the Bible altogether,^ has 

1 Above, Chapters IV and V. 

2 The reader who may chance to be unfamiliar with the results of 
criticism will find compendious statements of it in Driver's Introduction 

269 



270 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



really opened a new historical vista to the student of any 
phase of Israelitish history. This is as true of Israel's 
religion as of any other phase of her life. While there 
are critics who can bring themselves to regard as histori- 
cal scarcely any of the material which relates to the times 
before David and Solomon, most critics regard the broad 
outline of the traditions which relate to the sojourn in 
Egypt, the exodus, the wilderness sojourn, and the con- 
quest of Canaan, as representing real facts of history. 
This does not imply that there is no need to apply critical 
methods to these traditions in order to ascertain the truth. 
Tradition has no doubt often destroyed the historical per- 
spective ; it has applied to the whole of the nation that 
which in reality belonged only to parts of it. A discrimi- 
nating student can nevertheless still in good degree un- 
tangle the thread and restore the main features of the 
history. In this task much help is secured by the recog- 
nition of the simple fact that in the genealogies tribes are 
often personified as men. 

The beginnings of the nation Israel may, by the aid of 
critical study, be broadly sketched as follows : ^ From 
time immemorial wave upon wave of Semites had over- 
run Palestine, and had by fusion with its aboriginal 
inhabitants, whatever they were,^ gradually formed the 

to the Literature of the Old Testament, or Cornill's Einleitung in das 
alte Testament. The best presentation of the criticism of the Pentateuch 
and Joshua is Carpenter and Harford-Battersby's Hexateuch. 

1 This sketch gives the outline which my own studies have led me to 
adopt as most probable. For sketches of other scholars, cf. Kuenen, 
Religion of Israel, pp. 109-115 ; Stade, Geschichte des Volkes Israel, 
Vol. I, p. 113 ff. ; Wellhausen, Israelitische und judische Geschichte, 
oh. ii ; Kent, History of the Hebrew People, Vol. I, ch. v ; Cornill, 
History of the People of Israel, pp. 45-55; Guthe, Geschichte des VolJces 
Israel, pp. 12-28, and § 9 of his article "Israel," in Encyc. Bih.; 
Winckler, Geschichte Israels, Vol. I, pp. 12-24 ; and § 1 of Woods's 
article, " Israel," in Hastings's Dictionary of the Bible. 

2 Sergi (Mediterranean Race, pp. 150-156) believes that these aborigi- 
nes were Hittites who had separated from the North African race. It 
must, if true, have been at a considerably earlier time, of course, than 
the Semitic migration from Africa. 



YAHWE 271 



Phcenician or Canaanitish peoples. It has been already 
pointed out^ that from the time of Lugalzaggisi (about 
4000 B.C.) onward, many successive expeditions of con- 
quest and migration from Babylonia had also swept over 
the land. With these Babylonians there were mingled, 
from about 1500 B.C. onward (and for all we know, from 
a much earlier period), Aramsean tribes who had pre- 
viously inhabited the highlands between the Mesopotamian 
valley and the Mediterranean. The presence of these 
tribes can be traced in the El-Amarna letters about 
1400 B.c.^ A number of the clans which were afterward 
united into the nation Israel belonged to this Aramaic 
group of nomads. This is proven by the persistent tradi- 
tions which connected Hebrew ancestry with Aram,^ and 
receives confirmation from phenomena in the El-Amarna 
letters, which will soon be noted. 

Of these clans, the Reubenites may have been at first 
the chief,* but that leadership soon gave way to the power- 
ful Joseph clan, later divided into the clans of Ephraim 
and Manasseh, and of which the clan of Benjamin was a 
later offshoot. ^ Closely allied to the Reubenites were the 
clans of Issachar and Zebulon, and less closely the clans 
of Gad and Asher, the last of which we have already 
traced in Palestine in the El-Amarna period.® 

1 See above, pp. 146 and 160. 

' They are mentioned in the annals of Tiglath-pileser I, about 1110 B.C. 
Cf. KB., Vol. I, p. 33, and "Aram," in Mncyc. Bib. and Jevyish Encyclo- 
pedia, and above, p. 226 ff. 

3 Cf. Gen. 12*, 24, 281-322, and Dent. 266. 

* Cf. the tradition that he was Jacob's firstborn, Gen. 29'^, 49', etc. 
Birthright implied hegemony and power. 

6 Cf. the tradition of Benjamin's late birth, Gen. SS^"*-!*. The name 
Benjamin is really Bne-Yamin, "sons of the south," i.e "southerners." 
The kinship to the Joseph tribes which the traditions assign means that 
the Benjaminites were the "southerners" of the Josephites. Cf. the 
Arabic Yemenites. A more remote kinship to these tribes is assigned by 
the traditions to the tribes of Dan and Naphtali. This means that they 
joined the confederacy later, perhaps after the emancipation from Egypt. 

^ The tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Levi are also assigned in the tradi- 
tions to the Leah group. On Judah, see p. 272, n. 4. Simeon as a clan 



272 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



The Joseph clans ^ wandered in time of famine to 
Egypt,^ whither they were followed by others, probably 
some of the Leah tribes, of which the Reubenites were the 
most powerful. There, in course of time, these tribes 
found themselves in bondage. Meantime the Kenites, a 
clan whose origin was more directly Arabian, having been 
touched by the northern wave of Mineean influence from 
south Arabia,^ and which afterward formed part of the 
tribe of Judah,* had occupied the Sinaitic peninsula and 
the region to the north of it, and had become a pastoral 
people. Moses, a man of one of the tribes which were in 
bondage, fled from Egypt, sojourned among the Kenites, 
became a devotee of the Kenite god, Yahwe, went back to 
Egypt, proclaimed Yahwe the deliverer of the oppressed 
clans, led his brethren to Sinai, and with the aid of Jethro, 
Yahwe's priest in Midian, bound them for the future in 
alliance with the Kenites and to the service of Yahwe. ^ 

has in tlie historical period a most shadowy and problematical existence. 
Possibly it was an early clan which was overtaken by misfortune (Gen. 
495 ff). The same may be said of the tribe of Levi, though it is possible, 
as Budde thinks {Bel. of Israel to the Exile, p. 80 ff.), that it was a 
priestly clan of later origin. 

1 Cf. Wildeboer, Jahvedienst en Volksreligie in Israel, p. 15. 

2 Winckler, Altorientalische Forschungen, p. 337 ff. , has suggested 
on the basis of a Sab^an inscription that Misraim is in the Old Testa- 
ment a later misunderstanding for Misr, a name which he believes was 
applied to the part of Arabia which included the Sinaitic peninsula, and 
that the Hebrews never were in Egypt proper. This view is accepted by 
Schmidt, American Journal of Theology, Vol. V, p. 136. This is, how- 
ever, too slight a basis on which to cast away all the traditions of later time. 

' Cf. Weber's article, " Studien zur siidarabisohen Altertumskunde," 
and the literature cited in it, published in Mitthelungen der vorderasiat. 
Gesell., 1901, especially pp. 29 and 36 ff. Cf. also Lidzbarski's Ephem- 
eris fur semitische Epigraphilt, Vol. I, p. 128. 

* The traditional genealogies indicate that there was a close kinship 
between Judah and the Reubenites. This means that there was an 
Aramaic element in Judah, to which other elements, as pointed out below, 
were joined later. The possible mention of Judah in the El-Amarna 
tablets (cf. Jastrow, JBL., Vol. XII, p. 61 fi.) would, if real, seem to 
confirm this view. 

6 Cf. Ex. 1812 ff- and Budde, liel. of Israel to the Exile, p. 22 ft. 



YAHWE 273 



After wandering for a time as nomads, these clans or a 
part of them conquered the east-Jordanic country, in 
which probably some of their kinsmen, the tribe of Gad, 
had remained from earlier times. After they became too 
numerous for this region, the Jordan was crossed and the 
heart of Palestine conquered. After their settlement 
there, tribes which had never left the country, such as 
Asher and perhaps Dan and Naphtali, were incorporated 
with them. It is perhaps true that an Aramaic element, 
kindred to the Reubenites, an element which formed the 
nucleus of the tribe of Judah, was concerned in this general 
movement to Egypt and back ; but the Kenite clan, at 
least in part, and perhaps others who were afterward im- 
portant elements of the tribe of Judah, moved from the 
south into the territory later occupied by them making 
their entrance at a time considerably subsequent to that 
of the Joseph tribes. Long after the time when the book 
of Judges takes up Israel's history, Judah was even less 
closely attached to the other tribes than they were to one 
another. 

These Israelitish clans — always in the early days with- 
out fixed organization — became in time, by absorbing 
elements alreadj'' in the land, the tribes of the book of 
Judges. Within each tribe there seems to have been no 
more organization than Arabic tribes in the desert show 
at the present time, and as regards one another they had no 
real governmental connection. A sense of kinship and of 
loose alliance was their only bond. The two most power- 
ful of these were the clans of Joseph and Judah. These 
clans were never permanently united, and afterward 
formed the centres of the northern and southern king- 
doms. Some of the features of this sketch will be en- 
larged upon below when some of the proof for it will be 
considered. At present we must turn to one or two 
matters which are thought to oppose difficulties to the 
course of events just outlined. 

Among the El-Amarna letters, about 1400 B.C., there 



274 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



are several from Abdikheba of Jerusalem ^ in which he 
complains that his government is being overthrown by a 
people called Khabiri, whom Zimmern and Winckler^ have 
identified with the Hebrews. If this identification were 
correct, it would follow that the exodus should be dated 
considerably earlier than has of late been customary among 
scholars. That the Khabiri and the Hebrews are the 
same is, however, very improbable.^ The suggestion of 
Jastrow* that the Khabiri were a clan afterward embodied 
in the tribe of Asher as Heber (Kheber) seems to me far 
more probable. If, as we have supposed,^ the tribe of 
Asher was fused with the other tribes after the settlement 
in Canaan, the presence of the Khabiri about Jerusalem at 
a time when the bulk of the Hebrews were in Egypt would 
afford no difficulty. 

Another fact which is supposed by some to present diffi- 
culty is the mention of Israel on a stele of Meren-Ptah 
(Menephtah), discovered by Petrie in 1896. The context 
places Israel among enemies whom the king destroyed in 
Palestine.^ This implies that Israel was settled there in 
the reign of the Pharaoh under whom the exodus is 
usually supposed to have occurred. The force of this 
consideration some would break by the claim that the 
poetical and exaggerated language of the inscription of 
Menephtah cannot be sufficiently definite to be taken 
seriously. It seems clear, however, that if the inscription 
has any meaning at all, it implies that Israel was in Pales- 
tine when it was written. But it does not follow that the 
term " Israel " then connoted all that it signified at a later 
time. Jacob and Joseph in the reign of Thothmes III,'^ a 

1 Cf. KB., Vol. V, Nos. 179-185. 

^ See his Geschichte Israels, Vol. I, pp. 17-20. 

8 Cf. Hommel's Ancient Hebrew Tradition, pp. 230 ff. and 258 ff. 

4 In JSL., Vol. XI, p. 120. ^p. 273. 

6Cf. Steindorf in ZATW., Vol. XVI, p. 330 ff.; and Breasted in 
Biblical World, Vol. IX, p. 62 ff. For a summary of conflicting opinions 
cf. ibid.. Vol. VIII, p. 243 ft. 

' W. Max Miiller, Asien und Europa, p. 168. 



TAHWE 275 



little earlier, were the names of places, and Joseph at 
least underwent a change ; may not Israel have done the 
same ? The inscription makes it clear that Israel is used 
in the sense of a people ; but if our view of the gradual 
aggregation of the Israel of later times be correct, not all 
the clans which we know under that designation in the 
Old Testament need have been present among those whom 
Menephtah vanquished. If a small detachment were there, 
the conditions would be satisfied. ^ This difficulty there- 
fore vanishes.^ 

On the view of the origin of the Israelites outlined 
above, Yahwe was the god of the Kenites before he became 
the God of Israel. This view was first suggested by 
Ghillany,^ and afterward independently by Tiele,* more 
fully urged by Stade,^ and has been thoroughly worked 
out by Budde.® It is now accepted by others, as Guthe,'' 
Wildeboer,^ and H. P. Smith. ^ It is naturally rejected 
by Dillmann,^'' and his school,^^ as well as by writers like 
Robertson,i2 -^i^q contend against all critical theories of 
the origin of Israel's religion. The reasons for accepting 
the view that Yahwe was the god of the Kenites before 
Moses mediated a covenant whereby he became the god of 

1 Cf. Budde, Bel. of Israel, p. 7. 

2 The indefiniteness of Menephtah's use of the word " Israel " is shown 
by the contradictory theories built upon it ; cf. Biblical World, Vol. 
VIII, p. 243 ff. 

8 In 1862, writing under the pseudonym of Richard von der Aim. 
Cf. Holzinger in Exodus in Marti's Kurzer Hand-Gom., p. 13. 

* Manuel de Vhistoire des religions, 1880, p. 84 ; Histoire comparee 
des anciennes religions, 1882, ch. ix; and Outline of the History of 
Ancient Eeligions, 1888, p. 85. 

s Oeschichte des Volkes Israel, Vol. I, p. 130 ff. 
« New World, 1895, pp. 726-746 ; and Meligion of Israel to the Exile. 
' GesrMchte des Volkes Israel, p. 21. 
^ Jahvedienst en Volksreligie in Israel, p. 15 ff. 
' American Journal of Theology, Vol. IV, p. 549 ff. 
w Com. on Exodus (ch. 3") ; and Alttestamentliche Theologie, p. 103, n. 
" Cf. e.g. Kittel, History of Israel, Vol. I, p. 250 ; and Strack, Com. on 
Exodus (ch. 3"). 

12 See his Early Religion of Israel. 



276 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



the Joseph tribes and ultimately of Israel are, in brief, as 
follows : — 

1. Of the three documents, J, E, and P, which narrate 
the exodus, two, E and P, relate that the name Yahwe 
was quite unknown until the time of Moses,i and that it 
was revealed to him while tending the flock at Yahwe's 
mount of Horeb or Sinai. Moses was told that he was 
treading on holy ground, i.e. that the mountain where he 
was was the sacred dwelling of Yahwe. P declares that 
the patriarchs had worshipped Yahwe under the name 
El-Shaddai, but that he was unknown to them by his 
name Yahwe. It was thus by the late date at which P 
wrote that the identity of two gods could be asserted, but 
in the earlier time of Moses such was not the case. A 
different name soon came to mean a different deity, even 
when it had been at first a mere epithet of a god already 
well known. E, on the other hand, declares^ that up to 
the time of the exodns the ancestors of Israel had been 
idolaters. True, he seems to make an exception in the 
case of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,^ but the exception is 
more in seeming than in reality. E, as critics agree,* was 
an Ephraimite. In him the traditions as they were current 
among the Joseph tribes find expression ; and those tradi- 
tions had preserved the definite recollection that the 
knowledge of Yahwe was not original in Israel, but came 
in at the time of Moses. P was dependent for his knowl- 
edge of the subject upon E, and simply retold the story in 
his own way. 

2. That Yahwe was the god of the Kenites is further 
shown by the nature of the sacrificial covenant which, 
according to E,^ preceded the giving of the law. At that 
sacrifice to Yahwe it was not Moses or Aaron who offi- 
ciated as though initiating Jethro into a new worship, but 

1 E, in Ex. 313 ff-; P, in Ex. 6'«: 2 Josh. 24". «Ex. SK 

<Cf. Kuenen, Mexateuch, p. 248 ft.; Driver, Introduction, p. 116 ff.; 
and Carpenter and Harford-Battersby's Hexateuch, Vol. I, p. 116. 
'Ex. 18i2ff-. Cf. Budde, Religion of Israel, p. 22. 



YAHWE 277 



Jethro, the Kenite,^ officiated as though introducing Moses 
into a new cult. 

3. For centuries after Moses Sinai was regarded as the 
home of Yahwe, even when it lay beyond Israel's borders. 
From Sinai Yahwe came to give victory to his people in 
the days of Deborah ; ^ to Sinai Elijah made a pilgrimage 
in order to seek Yahwe in his home ; ^ and the prophetic 
writer who shaped the blessing of Moses echoed the same 
conception.* So deeply was the idea fixed in the religious 
thought that it survived in poetry in post-exilic times after 
the sanctity of the temple at Jerusalem had caused that 
structure to supplant Sinai in the popular thought as the 
abode of Yahwe. ^ 

4. The Kenites were during several succeeding centu- 
ries the champions of the pure worship of Yahwe, even 
among the Hebrews themselves. Thus Jael, the wife of 
Heber, the Kenite, was the slaughterer of Sisera and the 
champion of Yahwe ; ^ Jonadab, the son of Rechab, who 
was a Kenite,' and who maintained the nomadic ideals of 
the worship of Yahwe as they had existed in the steD|M^ 
aided Jehu in the eradication of Baal-worship in Israel, ^d 
in the establishment of the worship of Yahwe ; ^ and centu- 
ries later the fidelity of these Kenitic Rechabites to Yahwe 
was such that it served admirably in the hands of Jere- 
miah to point a moral to his degenerate fellow-citizens.® 

5. These Kenites (sometimes called Midianites ^'') seem, 
a part of them, to have joined Israel in their migrations,^! 
becoming mingled with the people at various points, both 
in the North ^^ and the South,!^ and in part they remained in 
their old habitat on the southern borders of Judah as a 
separate though friendly clan in the days of Saul ; i* finally, 

1 Cf. Jnd. 115 and 4". * Deut. 332. 7 cf. 1 Chr. 2^^. 

' Jud. 5* «■-. 6 Cf . Hab. 31 and Ps. 68^ Cfl. s 2 Kgs. W^. 

« 1 Kgs. 19. « Jud. S^iff- and 4i'ff-. » Jer. 35. 

^ The Kenites seem to have been a part of the Midianites. The latter 
was the broader term. Cf. Budde, Bel. of Israel, p. 19. 

11 Num. 10" ff-. 12 Jud. 4"ff; 524ff-. is Jud. l". " 1 Sam. 156. 



278 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



in the days of David, they were incorporated into the tribe 
of Judah,^ with which they were afterward counted. ^ 

6. Now it was in the tribe of Judah, into which these 
Kenites had been incorporated, that, as most recent critics 
believe,^ the J document was composed, — that document 
which betrays no consciousness tliat there had ever been a 
time in Israel when the worship of Yah we was unknown, 
and which makes that worship almost coeval with man.* 
This fact is all the more striking when it is remembered 
that J had accepted so many of the Aramaic traditions^ 
which were in all probability originally the possessions of 
the tribes farther to the north ; and it is best accounted 
for by the supposition that the Kenites, whose god Yahwe 
originally was, had been fused with the tribe of Judah 
and had thus infused into Judsean tradition a strong semi- 
Arabian current of thought, on which was borne the con- 
sciousness of the immemorial knowledge of Yahwe. The 
perpetual separateness of Judah from the other tribes 
would help to maintain this tradition in spite of antago- 
nistic currents from other quarters. 

We conclude, therefore, that the result of the application 
of critical methods to the history of Israel is to make it 
clear that Yahwe was the god of the Kenites before the 
days of Moses. 

Can we now go farther and determine anything of the 
nature of Yahwe or of his history before he became the God 
of Israel ? Our investigation has, I think, placed us in a 
position to do this. But before proceeding to the task 
we must first notice a view which has sometimes been ad- 

11 Sam. 3026ff>"P.29. 

2 Cf. the genealogy of the Calebites and Bethlehemites in 1 Chr. 2, 
ending with v. 55, according to which David himself came from a family 
of Kenites. For a comprehensive statement of the Biblical data concern- 
ing the Kenites see Kuenen's Beligion of Israel, pp. 179-182. The state- 
ment is condensed from an earlier article of Nbldeke. 

* See discussions in Driver's Introduction, p. 115 ft., and Carpenter and 
Harford-Battersby's Hexateuch, Vol. I, pp. 104-106. 

* Gen 426. 6 cf. Gen. 24 and the J element in Gen. 28-31. 



YAHWE 279 



vocated,^ and which I formerly held,^ that Yahwe in his 
primitive character was a storm god. In favor of this the- 
ory it may be urged that in the theophanies he is usually 
represented as coming in a thunder-storm ; ^ that he is said 
to have led his people in a cloud ; * that he appeared on 
Mount Sinai and in the temple as a cloud ; ^ that in the 
middle books of the Pentateuch the cloud is used as a 
token of Yahwe's presence more than forty times ; that 
the thunder was the " voice of Yahwe " ; ^ and that Yahwe 
controlled the stormy movements of nature.^ These facts, 
which are beyond dispute, have led Winckler to regard 
Yahwe as a Hadad or a Ramman.^ 

There can be no doubt but that in the case of Yahwe, as 
in that of Hadad and Ramman, the god was conceived as 
controlling the phenomena of the weather and of the 
heavens, and of manifesting himself through them. Such 
conceptions may well have been entertained by residents 
in the Sinaitic region as well as by the Aramaeans, resi- 
dent in the various parts of Syria, and by the ancient As- 
syrians and Babylonians. Robertson Smith has, however, 
wisely warned us against finding the origin of any Semitic 
god in the personification of any one power of nature ; ^ 
the primitive Semite looked to his god to perform for him 
the whole circle of divine activities, and the theory that 
Yahwe was primarily the personification of the storm is as 
inadequate as the theory that Hadad or Ramman was.^" 
Indeed, we are now in a position to show that in all prob- 
ability the Yahwe of the Kenites was developed like 

1 Cf. Stade, aeschichte des Volkes Israel, Vol. I, p. 429 ff. 

2 Cf. Oriental Studies of the Oriental Club of Philadelphia, p. 86 fl. 
« Cf. Ps. 18, Ez. 1, Hab. 3, Isa. 19i, and Job 38i. 

4 Ex. 13 and U. 
= Ex. 19 and 1 Kgs. 8i»". 
« Ps. 293 «, Job 37^ and Ps. 68". 
' Ps. 10418- 14^ and Ps. 1478- i«-i8. 
' Geschichte Israels, Vol. I, p. 37 ff. 

^Religion of the Semites, 2d ed., p. 81 fl. Cf. Budde, Bel. of Israel, 
p. 57, n. 

i» See above, p. 227 ff. 



280 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



Ramman, Hadad, and most other Semitic deities, by the 
same processes which we have traced elsewhere, out of the 
primitive mother goddess. The reasons for this view are 
as follows : — 

1. The Kenites were a Semitic tribe resident upon the 
confines of Arabia itself, and it is to be presumed that 
their religious life had been continuous and subject to the 
ordinary laws of Semitic development. 2. They were a 
pastoral people,^ who, according to the general laws of clan 
organization as outlined by Professor Keasbey,^ must have 
developed the patriarchal clan. Like the Moabites,^ their 
neighbors, then, the primitive goddess which was their 
common Semitic inheritance had among them been trans- 
formed into a corresponding masculine deity. 3. That 
Yahwe had some genetic connection with the primitive 
goddess is shown by the emphasis which his cult laid upon 
circumcision. We are told by J* that Yahwe sought to 
kill Moses till his son was circumcised, when the god be- 
came friendly.* The same writer tells us that after their 
entrance into Canaan ^ the marriageable young men were 
circumcised to complete their consecration to Yahwe. 
The Priestly writer represents circumcision as instituted 
in the time of Abraham as a token of Yahwe's covenant 
with him,^ and informs us that no uncircumcised person 
could keep Yahwe's passover.^ Such was the stress laid 
upon circumcision that in later times it became a synonym 
for Israelite, and uncircumcised a synonym for foreigner.* 
Circumcision became also a synonym for all the spiritua^ 
and ethical qualities for which the Yahwe cult had then 

1 Ex. 2W «••. 31 «: 2 Above, p. 30. « Above, p. 140 ff. * Ex. 4 ^*- ^. 

5 The real meaning of the passage seems to be that Moses himself was 
uncircumcised, and that, therefore, Yahwe tried to kill him ; that Moses's 
wife circumcised her son and smeared the blood upon Moses, so as to 
make it appear that the blood proceeded from an incision in him, and 
that then Yahwe was appeased. Cf. Wellhausen, Heidentum, 2d ed., 
p. 176. 

6 Josh. 53- 9. ' Gen. 17. ' Ex. 12*8. 
9 Cf. 1 Sam. 31«, 2 Sam. V>, 1 Chr. 10*, and Eom. S^. 



YAHWE 281 



come to stand. 1 Abraham, it was thought, would save 
from the pit all who bore the mark of circumcision.^ How 
deeply fixed this rite became is indicated by the struggle 
which Paul and others had to undergo in order to throw 
it off. The fixed and important character which it had at 
all periods indicates that from the very beginning it must 
have been considered a vital part of the religion of Yahwe, 
and must have had its motive in a conception which iden- 
tified the rite with some of Yahwe's most important func- 
tions. Now, at the first, circumcision seems to have been 
in Israel itself a preparation for connubium.^ The same 
rite with the same meaning we have previously found to 
be a part of the cult of the primitive mother goddess.* 
The existence of circumcision in the cult of Yahwe is 
therefore a strong argument for the theory that the cult 
of Yahwe was a direct development from that primitive 
Semitic worship. 

4. Another indication that Yahwe was originally devel- 
oped out of the mother goddess is the old Hebrew custom 
of swearing by Yahwe with the hand " under the thigh," 
i.e. upon the organs of reproduction.^ This custom shows 
that in early times this part of the body must have been 
especially sacred to Yahwe. That would naturally be the 
case if he were developed from an Ashtart. 5. All critics 
agree that the passover was the feast of Yahwe which 
without question antedates the settlement in Canaan.^ 
This festival, with its sacrifice of a sheep, we have already 
traced^ in its beginnings to the feast of the primitive 

iCf. Kom. 228ff-. 

» Cf . Weber's Judische Theologie, 2d ed., pp. 342, 343. 
*Cf. Gen. 34 and Ex. 4^5. In the latter passage the phrase "bride- 
groom of blood" connects it with connubium. 

4 See above, pp. 98 ff. and 110 ff. 
6Cf. Gen. 242-9, and 47^9. 

5 Cf. e.g. Wellhausen, Prolegomena, 5th ed., ch. iii ; W. R. Smith, Bel. 
of Sem., 2d ed., 227 ft., 445 ff.; Piepenbring, Theology of the Old Testa- 
ment, p. 50 ; Budde, Bel. of Israel, p. 73 ff., and Moulton's article "Pass- 
over " in Hastings's Diet, of the Bible. 

' Above, p. 109 ff. 



282 SEMITIC OUIGINS 



Semitic goddess. If, therefore, it was a festival of Yahwe 
in the steppe, it is another link connecting him with that 
primitive cult. This inference receives confirmation from 
another quarter. Three times in the book of Deuteronomy 
are lambs — the characteristic offerings of the passover — 
called the '■'■' ashtaroth of the flock," ^ a phrase which prob- 
ably had survived from primitive usage, when the connec- 
tion of the offering with a deity bearing this name had 
been obscured by the introduction of no other epithet. 
Further confirmation of this view may be found in the fact 
of the sanctity of the threshold which is prominently 
recognized in the ritual of the passover. ^ Trumbull ^ 
traces this sanctity back to a recognition of the relation 
of the sexes to one another, and, although my own studies 
would lead me to think that the direct application which 
he makes of it to the passover leaves out of account some 
other important elements, yet his explanation of the fact 
harmonizes with the general explanation of this cult which 
we have reached. All these phenomena connected with 
the passover, therefore, confirm the view that that festival, 
even in the worship of Yahwe, goes back to a primitive 
Semitic root. 

6. The origin of Yahwe for which we contend is con- 
firmed by the most probable etymology of his name — that 
proposed long ago by Le Clerc * and accepted by many 
modern scholars — viz.: that the name Yahwe is a Hiphil 
form meaning, "He who causes to be," i.e. "gives life."^ 

iDeut. 713, 284-18. 

2 The name nDS probably has nothing to do with leaping over the 
threshold, but seems to mean a " dance." Cf. Toy, in JBL., Vol. XVI, 
p. 178 ff., and Buhl, Gesenius'' Handworterhuch, 13th ed. 

' The Threshold Covenant, ch. v. 

* In his Commentary, on Ex. 6', published in 1696. Cf. Driver in the 
Oxford Stndia Biblia, Vol. I, p. 13. Le Clerc made a somewhat different 
application of it from that advocated here. 

^ The name occurs in the Old Testament in four forms, Tahwe, Yah, 
Y6, and Yeh6. The second form occurs in proper names and in late 
poetry, and the third and fourth in proper names (cf. Gray, He- 
brew Proper Names, p. 149 ff., and Bonk, ZATW., Vol. XI, p. 126 ff.). 



YAHWE 283 



The explanation given in Exodus 3"*- no doubt repre- 
sents the understanding of the name prevalent in Israel 

The prevailing opinion among scholars is that the shorter forms are de- 
rived from the longer form, Yahwe. Priedrioh Delitzsch, however, Wo 
Lag das Paradies, pp. 158-164, held that the shorter forms were the ear- 
lier, that they were derived from the name of the Bahylonian god Ba or 
Ya, and that the longer form was developed from this by the Hebrews, a 
view which has not met with general acceptance (cf. Driver in Studio 
Biblia, Vol. I, pp. 4-6, and 10 f£.), although Hommel holds it {Anc. Heb. 
Trad., p. 114). Margoliouth has more recently revived it in a crude 
form which has, so far as I know, convinced no one (cf. Contemporary 
Review, October, 1898, p. 581 fl.). The Babylonian origin is not made out 
(cf. Sayce, Higher Criticism and the Verdict of the Monuments, p. 87 f£., 
and Early History of the Hebrews, p. 164 ff.), and it is hardly possible 
philologically to derive a long form like Yahwe from a, short form like 
Yah. Words everywhere wear down, but are not lengthened. More 
recently Spiegelberg {ZDMG., Vol. LIII, p. 633 ft.) has proposed an 
Egyptian origin for the name Yahwe. It can, however, hardly be sup- 
posed that a people whose religious ideas hardly influenced those of 
Israel at all furnished them the name of their God. 

Most scholars have sought a meaning for it in Hebrew and have ex- 
plained it as follows : — 

1. As a Qal of mn an old form equivalent to nTl in the sense of "He 
who is," i.e. "the self -existent " or "unchangeable one," following Ex. 
3"; so Dillmann, Com. ub. Ex., in loc, Franz Delitzsch Com. ub. &en. 
(1872) p. 26, 60, and Oehler {Theol. of 0. T., % 39). This form is, as 
has been remarked in the text, too abstract to be primitive. 

2. As a Qal in the sense of "He will be," also based on Ex. 3", and 
Hos. 2^. This theory of the name has given rise to several different inter- 
pretations : Robertson Smith {British and Foreign Evangelical Beview, 
1876) explained it as "He will be it," i.e. all that his servants look for; 
Driver (Studia Biblia, Vol. I, p. 17), Hommel (Anc. Heb. Trad., p. 114), 
Marti, Theologie (3d ed., p. 61, n. 20): "He will approve himself," 
i.e. give evidence of his being, or assert his being, will reveal him- 
self, or enact history ; Skipwith : " He will be with us," i.e. in battle (in 
Jewish Quarterly Beview, July, 1898). Of the applications of this expla- 
nation, the first and second are too abstract to be primitive. The third 
would do very well if we could be sure that the god who first bore the 
name was conceived chiefly as a god of war. Such a supposition is pre- 
carious, for as we have seen the early Semite looked to his god to do 
whatever he needed, and the war function was only one of many. 

3. As a Hiphil from Hin (cf. Arab ^jJ6 and Job 38^) in the sense of 
" cause to fall," i.e. to send down. This explanation has received various 
applications, as follows: Robertson Smith (Old Test, in Jewish Church, 
1st ed., p. 423) and Barton (Oriental Studies of Or. C. of Bhila., p. 87) : 



284 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



in the prophetic period, but, as many scholars have felt, 
it is too abstract to be primitive. Smend and Piepen- 

" He who sends down rain " ; Wellhausen {Heidentum, 1st ed., p. 175) and 
Stade {Geschichte, Vol. I, p. 429): "He who causes enemies to fall" ; 
Margoliouth (PSBA., Vol. XVII, p. 57 ff.): " He who sends down law" ; 
and Holzinger (Ein. in das Sexateuch, p. 204, and Com. ilb. JExodus, p. 
13): "He who causes to fall," i.e. the destroying demon or destroyer. 
For reasons already explained this etymology now seems unsatisfactory. 

4. The etymology suggested by Le Clero has been adopted by several 
modern scholars, taking the name as a Hiphil of mri = ri\n. Not all, how- 
ever, take it in the same sense. Gesenius (Thesaurus, 1839, p- 577, n.), 
Baudessin {Studien, Vol. I, p. 229), Schrader (in Sohenkel's Sibel-Lexi- 
con), and Schultz ( Theologie, 2d ed. , p. 487 ft.) take it in the sense of " He 
who causes being" or "life"; Kuenen {Religion of Israel, pp. 279, 398), 
"He who gives existence"; and Lagarde (ZDMCr., Vol. XXII, p. 331, 
Symmicta, Vol. I, p. 104, Psalterium juxta Hebrmos Hieronymi, p. 153 
ff., Orienialia, Vol. II, pp. 27-30, and Gott. Gel. Anzeigen, 1885, p. 91) 
and Nestle {Isr. Eigennamen, p. 88 ff. ) take it as "He who brings to 
pass," i.e. the performer of his promises. Of these the general nature of 
Yahwe, which a broad view of Semitic development leads us to take, 
makes " He who gives life " the most probable original meaning. 

There are some traces of the name Yahwe among non-Israelites which 
are interesting. Among these I do not count names ending in Ya, for as 
Jastrow has shown {JBL., Vol. XIII, p. 101 ff.), such names do not nec- 
essarily contain a divine element. This applies even to Bit-ya, which W. 
Max Miiller {Asien und Europa, p. 312 ff.) finds in a list of Thothmes 
III. Ya-u-hi-i-di, a king of Hamath in the days of Sargon (see Schrader, 
KAT.'^, p. 23, and KB., Vol. II, p. 57), in whose name Tahu appears 
as a divine element, is very Interesting. It suggests the possibility 
that the Kenites who in earlier days settled in the north had extended 
their influence to Hamath, so that the epithet by which they called their 
god had been applied by the Hamathites to their Hadad. It is possible, 
of course, that the Aramaeans developed the name independently. Bau- 
dessin has shown (Siudien, Vol. I, p. 180 ff.) how the name Yahwe 
passed to Greek writers from the Jews as Tdoi. Macrobius {Saturnalia, 
I, 18, 19 ff.), connects the name 'Idu with the Clarian Apollo. There is 
also considerable evidence which was collected by Movers (see Phoenizier, 
Vol. I, pp. 542-547), which connects 'Ida with the Phosnician 'ASavu. 
Lenormant thought (Lettres assyriologique, 1st ser.. Vol. II, pp. 196- 
201), that the Phcenicians also had the name as applied to this god in the 
sense of the " self-existent one." Driver (iStudia Biblia, Vol. I, p. 3) 
claims with considerable force that the name, if derived from mn can 
hardly have been of general Canaanitish usage, because in Phoenician as 
in Arabic and Ethiopic the substantive verb in ]'Q. It is possible that 
they used mn also as well as their Hebrew and Aramaic neighbors, only 



YAHWE 285 



bring's ^ objection that Israel did not in the Old Testa- 
ment period look upon Yahwe as especially the creator is 
wide of the mark, if Yahwe was his name first among the 
Kenites. To find its meaning we must look at the reli- 
gious conceptions of the Kenites, and not those of later 
Israel. The Kenites were without doubt in their general 
religious conceptions practically on a level with their 
Semitic neighbors of the period, and among such peoples 
nothing would be more natural, as the preceding pages 
have shown, than to call one of their gods of fertility the 
giver of life. 

Indeed, there is some evidence to show that the name 
was actually employed far beyond the bounds of the Ken- 
ites, and that it has entered as an element into at least 
one Aramaic proper name.^ Yahwe seems, therefore, to 
have been an epithet applied by more than one family of 
western Semites to gods of the Semitic life-giving type. 

7. Another fact which indicates the connection of 
Yahwe with the primitive Semitic cult is the connection 
of the Kenites with palm trees. The city of Jericho was 
at one time one of their seats,^ and Jericho was a city of 
palm trees.* Elim, which was apparently a sacred oasis 
in the neighborhood of Sinai, contained its twelve sacred 
wells and its seventy palm trees.^ About Sinai itself, in 
ancient as in modern^ times, the culture of the palm tree 

the word has not chanced to survive in any extant inscriptions. At all 
events, the view which we are led to take of the meaning of Yahwe makes 
it a tempting hypothesis to suppose that either as a native Phoenician epi- 
thet, or as one borrowed from their Hebrew and Kenite neighbors, the 
Phoenicians applied the name Yahwe, " the life-giver," to their god of 
healing, Eshmun-Adonis, though it may well be that the 'Idw which was 
applied to Adonis was of different origin from the'ldu which was borrowed 
from the Jews. For a recent account of the occurrence of this name in 
Greek sources, cf. Deissmann, Bible Studies, 1901, pp. .321-336. 

1 Piepenbring, Theology of the Old Testament, p. 100 ff., and Smend, 
Lehrhnch, p. 21, n. 1. 

« Yahu-bidi, cf. Schrader, KAT.\ p. 23. Cf. KB., Vol. II, p. 57. 

» Jud. 116. 4 Deut. 343. 6 Ex. lb'". 

« Cf. Wellsted's Travels in Arabia, Vol. II, p. 12. 



286 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



must have been known ; and, no doubt, its culture helped 
to keep alive among the Kenites the religious conceptions 
and practices which their primitive forefathers had con- 
nected with that tree. Perhaps the recollection of the 
connection of the Kenites with the palm is found in the 
story of the union of Tamar^ (Palm) with Judah. If 
not the Kenites, the tale at least is evidence for the ab- 
sorption in Judah of some clan to which the palm was 
sacred, — a clan which seems to have made the palm its 
totem. 2 Afterward there was on the border of Judah and 
Benjamin a place known as Baal-Tamar, — a name which 
bears witness to the worship of a god of the primitive Se- 
mitic type. There seems to be some evidence that the 
place was once named for the old Semitic goddess ; ^ there 
can, therefore, be little doubt that the characteristic Se- 
mitic cult was known among the early clans which after- 
ward were fused in the tribe of Judah. These clans may 
not all have been Kenites, but the union of the Kenites 
with such clans, so as to form the tribe of Judah, is itself 
proof of affinity between them, and an argument in favor 
of the similarity of their conceptions and institutions. 

The original connection of Yahwe with the palm tree 
also receives some confirmation from the fact that palm 
trees formed a part of the ornamentation of his temple as 
conceived by Ezekiel * ; and, as Ezekiel is thought to 
have had as his model the temple of Solomon, it is prob- 
able that they had a place in that temple also. The place 
of the palm tree in the book of Enoch ^ may be due to 
Babylonian influences ; but, even then, such influences 
would be much more readily assimilated if there was a lin- 
gering conception that such a tree was fundamentally con- 
nected with Yahwe. 

1 Gen. 38. 

2 Winokler, Geschichte Israels, Vol. II, p. 104, would interpret this 
story as the conquest of Judah over the place, Baal-Tamar. 

8 Cf. 1 Kgs. 98. Winckler (op cit, p. 97 ff.) is probably right in omit- 
ting the conjunction of the Massoretic text, and reading " Baalat-Tamar." 
4 Ez. 4118. 6 Eth. Enoch, 24. 



YAHWB 287 



Our studies, therefore, taken in connection with the 
work of critical students of the Old Testament, enable us 
to trace the ancestry of Yahwe back to primitive Semitic 
times. Primarily Yahwe was not radically different from 
other deities of the steppe and the oasis ; and in its ear- 
liest form the religion to which Moses introduced Israel 
cannot have differed radically from other Semitic cults. 
An endeavor will be made a little later to estimate the 
content of Mosaism, and to trace the process by which 
the distinctly moral elements of the Yahweism of the 
prophets were introduced ; but, for a clear understanding 
of our subject, it is necessary first to determine something 
of the ritual and the religious conceptions which be- 
longed to Yahwe in common with other Semitic gods, and 
which passed with him from the Kenites to the Israelites. 

Critics are agreed ^ that the passover, as distinct from 
the feast of unleavened bread, belongs to primitive Yah- 
weism. 

It is described even by P (Ex. 12"*) as practically a 
nomadic festival, — a commensal meal, not unlike those of 
Arabic paganism. If, however, our previous investigation 
has any bearing on the primitive nature of Yahwe and his 
worship, there must have been some sexual conceptions, 
and probably in the earlier days some similar rites, con- 
nected with the passover, which in P's account have been 
eliminated. It is, of course, possible that among the Ken- 
ites less stress may have been laid upon these elements 
than among the Semitic peoples generally, but such a sup- 
position is hazardous and cannot be accepted without clear 
proof. In later times we find Hannah at the time of 
Yahwe's festival — probably the passover — praying for 
offspring and gaining the answer to her prayer,^ a fact 
which shows that there still survived in connection with 
Yahwe's feast some of those conceptions of fertility which 

1 Cf. e.g. W. K. Smith, Bel. of Sem., 2d ed., pp. .333 ff., 346 ft. ; Well- 
hausen, Prolegomena, 5th ed., ch. iii; Budde, Bel. of Israel, p. 73 ff. 
» 1 Sam. 1. 



288 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



pertained to the primitive goddess.^ Later Hebrew senti- 
ment explained the misfortunes of the house of Eli ^ on 
the ground that he did not restrain the loose conduct of 
his sons upon such occasions, but it is not impossible that 
in Eli's time such license may not under the excitement of 
Yahwe's festival have been considered wrong. The anal- 
ogy of other Semitic deities would lead us to expect that 
in their worship of the giver of life and fertility the Se- 
mitic tendency to license, of which the Hebrews had their 
part, would find expression among them similar to that 
which it found elsewhere. 

Budde,^ though remarking that he can not and would not 
assert that the worship of Yahwe in ancient times was re- 
stricted to this simple annual festival, makes no attempt 
to determine what other features it contained. Beyond 
the supposition that victories in war were celebrated by 
especial worship of the god, he contents himself with the 
supposition that the worship of Yahwe was of an extremely 
simple nature. We are, however, now in a position to 
point out that the god of the Kenites, who inhabited oases 
like Elim and Jericho,* and who roamed over the steppe, 
would be celebrated in a second festival in the autumn at 
the gathering of the date harvest.^ This festival, after the 
settlement in Canaan and the acquirement of agricultural 
habits of life, was naturally interpreted as the festival of 
the grape gathering,^ but in the book of Leviticus, where 
archaic practices are frequently preserved, the memory 
that the feast had a nomadic origin is perpetuated in the 
name " Feast of Booths, "^ — a name which is rightly in- 
terpreted as a survival of nomadic life.* At the time of 
the date harvest the nomads gather about the oases to lay 
in a supply of dates and to worship the god of the date 
tree ; their tents would dot the outskirts of the oasis and 
form a striking feature of the landscape. The book of 

1 See above, p. 110. *Jud. lis. ' Lev. 23M. 

2 1 Sam. 2. 6 Above, p. Ill ff. s Lev. 234»-«. 
' Bel. of Israel, p. 75, " Ex. 34^2 ; 23W. 



YAHWE 289 



Leviticus comes to the aid of analogy, therefore, to prove 
a second primitive festival of Yahwe. No doubt in later 
times the good things, which the grape harvest with its 
quickly fermenting grape juice afforded, gave to the agri- 
cultural festival a more luxurious and boisterous character 
than attached to the nomadic feast which it displaced, but 
that the one was merged into the other there can be no 
doubt. 

This autumn festival was, as we have seen above,^ pre- 
ceded by the rite of wailing for Tammuz, — a custom 
which, as Robertson Smith pointed out,^ has survived in the 
fasting and humiliation which preceded the Hebrew Day 
of Atonement, — a day which itself preceded this autumn 
festival. The ritual of the Day of Atonement is probably 
a survival under a new interpretation of the worship of 
Tammuz, or equivalent god, in connection with the wor- 
ship of Yahwe, for there is no more reason to suppose that 
this was borrowed from the customs of the Canaanitish 
Baalim than that the date feast itself was. If, then, the wor- 
ship of Tammuz was a part of the primitive cult of Yahwe, as 
it was of other Semitic cults, one may naturally ask if the 
primitive goddess Ashtart was not also originally connected 
with Yahwe. On this point we have no direct evidence. 
A number of scholars^ recognize in the wailing for Jeph- 
thah's daughter * a survival of the Tammuz wailing. The 
story as it has been preserved to us makes it clear that the 
wailing was performed, not for a deceased god as at Gebal,* 
but for a goddess as at Carthage.^ Whether this cult in 
Gilead was directly connected with the Yahwe cult in 
early times is exceedingly problematical. It was probably 
connected with some local clan cult of the tribe of Gad or 
Manasseh. Winckler has with much acuteuess shown ^ 

1 p. 100. 2 2{gi, of Sem., 2d ed., p. 411 ff., especially p. 414. 

8 W. R. Smith, op. cit., p. 416; Moore, "Judges," in Inter. Grit. 
Com., p. 305 ; and Winckler, Geschichte Israels, Vol. II, p. 140 ff. 
' Jud. ll*". ^ Above, p. 245. « Above, p. 255 ff. 

' Geschichte Israels, Vol. II. 



290 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



that many of the traditions of patriarchal Israel go back 
to myths of Tammuz and Ashtoreth. No doubt in his 
application of this solution to the period of David and 
after, he has applied his key where it is unnecessary, 
but many of his suggestions seem exceedingly plausible. 
If they are true, this common Semitic mythology was well 
known in ancient Israel, and it is surely a gratuitous sup- 
position to claim that it was all borrowed from other 
sources than the Kenites. Analogy thus leads us to believe 
that probably the Yahwe worship of the Kenites contained 
an Ashtart. If such was the case, some will be ready to 
urge that that is no evidence that such worship was 
adopted by Moses. It must be admitted, however, that if 
the Kenites associated an Ashtart with Yahwe, Moses and 
the Hebrews would inevitably worship her too. Converts 
to a new religion are not its reformers, but its blindest devo- 
tees. Gratitude to the deity who had delivered them from 
Egypt would compel the early Israelites to take the cult 
of that god over in toto. For reasons, however, which 
will be adduced a little later such a goddess, if connected 
with Yahwe, must as a goddess of the steppe have had a 
character comparatively mild and consequently innocent 
as compared with the Ashtaroth of more bountiful and 
luxurious Canaan, or the Ashtart of the mercantile, rich, 
and luxurious Sidon. Increasing wealth increased the 
evil tendencies of this cult ; thus Ashtart, " the abomina- 
tion of the Sidonians," became a byword even among her 
Semitic kinsmen. 

Along with the two feasts which can be traced to prim- 
itive Yahweism, and along with Tammuz and Ashtart, we 
must place the pillar (masseba), common to Yahwe with 
other Semitic deities, and which continued to represent 
him down to the time of Hosea,i and probably till the re- 
form of Josiah. Here too must be placed the 'ashera, 
which marked the limits of primitive Semitic shrines, and 
which were not eliminated from Yahwe's temple till the 
1 Gen. 2822, Hos. 3S Deut. 7^, and 2 Kgs. 23". 



YAHWE 291 



time of Josiah.i If the foregoing argument be valid, 
these objects must have been as much a part of the 
Yahwe ritual of early days as of that of any Semitic god. 

Yah we, the god of the Kenites, then, — probably Yahwe 
as Moses knew him, — was a Semitic god of the oasis and 
the wilderness, of the type found in the Arabian environ- 
ment. He was a god of life in the broad sense of that 
term ; the Tammuz wailing was a part of his ritual ; 
probably to his myths were attached all those feminine 
associations which are implied in the wailing for Tammuz. 
This god, because of the nature of the weather in the 
region where his people lived, had become associated in 
their minds with clouds, storms, and thunder ; because of 
their warlike struggles with their neighbors, he was also 
regarded as the giver of victory in war. The new cult, 
to which Moses introduced Israel, did not, therefore, 
differ as much from the worship of their neighbors, or 
even from their own former clan cults, as even critical 
scholars are wont to suppose.^ The chief and significant 
difference, as has often been said, lay in the fact that the 
worshippers were bound to the god by covenant and not 
by kinship ; ^ but in this difference, as will be pointed 
out in more detail below, lay the possibility of all spirit- 
ual progress. 

Israel, with her new faith, entered soon into a new land 
— a land where nature was more benignant than on the 
steppe ; where human effort was rewarded with more 
abundant harvests, so that to those accustomed to the 
poorer life of the wilderness it seemed a " land flowing 
with milk and honey." In this land they found Canaan- 
itish tribes dwelling, whose gods had originallj^ been gods 
of the wilderness, like Yahwe, with a comparatively 
simple ritual, but who in their more luxurious environ- 
ment had become considerably transformed. The revolt- 

1 2 Kgs. 23«- ". 2 Cf. Budde, Bel. of Israel, p. 73 ff. 

8 Cf. W. R. Smith, Mel. of Sem., 2d ed., p. 318 fC. ; Piepenbring, TJieol- 
ogy of the Old Testament, p. 30 ; and Budde, op cit., p. 35 ff., esp. p. 38. 



292 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



ing aspects of their worship had become more revolting, 
the inequalities among their worshippers much greater. 
How inevitable it was that Israel should worship these 
deities Budde has depicted with great clearness and force. ^ 
It was the commingling of their worship with that of 
Yahwe which introduced into the latter some elements of 
civilization which were much needed, but which had been 
lacking in the Yahweism of the desert. Ultimately, too, 
these Canaanitish cults proved not only as reagents for 
the purification of Israel from the old clan cults, as 
Budde supposes,^ but from the baser and grosser elements 
inherent in itself. How this came about we shall try to 
sketch presently ; but, for the sake of clearness of 
thought, it will first be necessary to consider a little more 
fully what the moral contents of Mosaism were. 

Much effort has been made to maintain the position 
which criticism had reached in the time of Ewald, that 
the kernel of the Elohistic decalogue,^ which is repeated 
in Deuteronomy,* is of Mosaic origin.^ It is of little avail 
to point out that the Egyptian book of the dead, which is 
older than Moses, contains nearly all the moral require- 
ments of the decalogue.^ Possibility of existence does 
not demonstrate actual existence ; and the actual exist- 
ence of the moral decalogue in the time of Moses seems 
to be made practically impossible by the existence of a rit- 
ualistic decalogue in J '' which is evidently older than the 
moral decalogue of E.* If the Pentateuch contains any 

1 Op cit., pp. 42-60. 2 76jU, p. 71. » Ex. 20. * Ch. 5. 

6 Cf. DiUman, AUtestamentUehe Theologie, pp. 58, 105, 228, and 426 ff. ; 
Kittel, History of Israel, Vol. I, p. 198 ; Robertson, Early Religion of 
Israel, p. 70, n. ; Bruce, Apologetics, p. 209 ; and Peters, President's 
address before the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis, December, 
1900. The argument that the author of Deut. 10 must have known the 
moral decalogue in J is not convincing. 

6 See ch. oxxv of the Book of the Dead in FSB A., Vol. XVII, p. 216 fi. 

' Ex. 34. 

* Cf. Wellliausen, History of Israel, p. 392 ff. ; Prolegomena, 5th ed., 
p. 400 ff. ; Kuenen, Beligion of Israel, p. 244 ff.; Briggs, Hexateuch, 
p. 189 ff. ; and Budde, Hel. of Israel, p. 172, n. 



YAHWE 293 



decalogue which dates from the time of Moses it must, 
accordingly, be the decalogue of J, which reads as fol- 
lows : — 

1. Thou shalt worship no other god. 

2. Thou shalt make thee no molten gods. 

3. The feast of unleavened bread thou shalt keep. 

4. The firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a 
lamb. All the firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem. 

5. None shall appear before me empty. 

6. Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh thou 
shalt rest. 

7. Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks and of ingath- 
ering at the year's end. 

8. Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacriiice with 
leavened bread, neither shall the sacrifice of the passover 
be left until the morning. 

9. The first fruits of thy ground thou shalt bring unto 
the house of Yahwe, thy God. 

10. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk. 

These commands are almost purely ritualistic, and at 
first glance betray, perhaps, to the unpractised eye noth- 
ing which might not be Mosaic. True, the command to 
worship no other god was not kept ; but it is neverthe- 
less possible that it may have existed as a prohibition of 
the introduction of other gods into Yahwe's proper do- 
main. The second command of this decalogue is really 
not a prohibition of idols, but only of expensive idols. 
In the nomadic life and among the poorer after the settle- 
ment in Canaan there were two kinds of idols : " graven 
images," made of wood, and "molten gods," cast of silver 
and gold.^ Sometimes the latter were of wood overlaid 
with gold. What the decalogue of J really prohibits is 
the making of these molten gods, i.e. the carrying of lux- 
ury and extravagance into the worship of Yahwe. It is 
the protest of Spartan simplicity and religious conserva- 

1 Cf. Moore, "Judges," in Inter. Crit. Com., p. 375. 



294 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



tism against wealth and innovations. This command 
might, therefore, well be nomadic. The same may be 
said of the redemption of the firstlings of men and of 
asses ; it is likely that human sacrifices were outgrown, 
except upon extraordinary occasions, before the settle- 
ment in Canaan, and other reasons may have led to the 
exemption of the firstborn of the ass. The command that 
none should appear before Yah we empty, i.e. each should 
bring a gift or sacrifice of some kind, is as appropriate to 
the life of the wilderness as to that of settled Canaan. 
The exclusion of leaven from Yahwe's sacrifices, and the 
obligation to consume the passover victim before morning, 
are both obligations which were felt in the nomadic form 
of life.^ The same is true of the prohibition to seethe a 
kid in its mother's milk. 

A careful examination of some of the remaining com- 
mands produces, however, a different impression. The 
keeping of the feast of unleavened bread is an agricultu- 
ral and not a nomadic regulation. It must have been in- 
troduced into the present decalogue after the settlement 
in Canaan ; but it is quite possible that it displaced a 
command to keep the passover which stood in an earlier 
nomadic decalogue. As the feast of unleavened bread 
and the passover were merged into one, it would be very 
easy for the agricultural name in course of time to dis- 
place the nomadic. Similarly, the command to observe 
the feast of weeks is an obligation of agricultural and not 
of nomadic life. As it stands it is coupled with a com- 
mand to observe the feast of " ingathering," or of " taber- 
nacles." In the later Hebrew calendar these two feasts 
occurred some months apart ; why, then, should they be 
here united in one command ? Is it because the command 
is but a rewording of an earlier nomadic law expressive 
of the obligation to observe the Tammuz wailing and 

1 Cf. the sacrifice of the Arabs, witnessed by the son of Nilus, which 
was consumed before the sun obscured the morning star. See W. E. 
Smith, Bel. of Sem., 2d ed., p. 338. 



YAHWE 295 



keep the date harvest festival ? Such a theory is not im- 
possible and it is certainly attractive. If we take this 
view, the substance of nine of these commands may with 
plausibility be attributed to Moses. 

Of the tenth, the command to keep the seventh day, 
the same in the opinion of some scholars cannot be said. 
The sabbath seems to Jastrow and Budde to have been of 
Babylonian origin, and not a part of the religion of the 
steppe. 1 Budde thinks it became an institution of Yah- 
weism during those years when Israel was making the 
transition from nomadic to agricultural life, and when 
Yahwe was being transformed from a god of the oasis 
and the steppe to a Palestinian Baal. Perhaps it was 
then organized into the form in which we now have it, but 
as Toy^ has shown, it probably goes back to a taboo 
which is considerably older. Probably, then, this com- 
mand has displaced the expression of this early taboo in 
an earlier nomadic decalogue. We have now no means 
of proving this, though from what has been said of the 
other commands, it does not seem improbable. 

We conclude, then, that Moses probably summed up the 
precepts of the worship of Yahwe in ten "words"; that if 
he did so, the decalogue of J has more nearly preserved 
them than any other part of the Pentateuch, but that 
even the decalogue of J as it now stands has undergone 
some changes since the time of Moses. 

In close connection with the decalogue there stands in 
the Old Testament the ark, called variously " the ark," 
"the ark of Yahwe," ^ "the ark of the covenant of 
Yahwe,"* and " the ark of the testimony," ^ which, accord- 
ing to a late tradition,^ contained the decalogue written on 
tables of stone. This ark seems to have been a box simi- 
lar to those which the Egyptians and Babylonians used 

1 Cf. Jastrow in American Journal of Theology, "Vol. II, pp. 312-352, 
and Budde, Mel. of Israel, p. 66 ft. 

2 Cf. JBL., Vol. XVIII, pp. 190-195. 

3 In J, E, and Samuel. « In D. ' in p. 6 i Kgs. 8^- "K 



296 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



for carrying their gods from place to place.^ Among the 
Hebrews the ark probably formed a kind of nomadic 
temple.^ The fact that in the Judaean source, J, the ark 
plays no prominent part, but Yahwe is represented as 
dwelling at Sinai, while his angel goes before Israel,^ and 
in E, the Ephraimite source, the ark plays a much more 
prominent part,* led Wellhausen and Stade to believe ^ 
that the ark was originally the movable sanctuary of the 
Joseph tribes from whence, after the union of the tribes, 
it was adopted by the nation. This view has been 
adopted by many others.^ As Moses was the deliverer of 
the Joseph tribes, it is altogether probable that the ark 
was of Mosaic origin, and was a part of the Yahwe ritual 
of the time of the wilderness sojourn. 

The difficulties with reference to the decalogue and the 
several versions in which it exists, have led these scholars 
to doubt the accuracy of the tradition that the ark con- 
tained a copy of the table of ten words. They have sup- 
posed that it contained a sacred stone or aerolite, similar 
to the sacred stone in the Qa'aba at Mecca, which was a 
kind of fetich. This may be true, but our analysis of the 
decalogue of J has shown us how possible it is that a 
nomadic decalogue of ritual lay back of J's ten words. 
It would be most natural for such a decalogue to be in- 
scribed on such a sacred stone. The tradition, therefore, 
seems worthy of credence. 

1 Wilkinson, Ancient Egyptians, Vol. Ill, p. 289 ; Delitzsoh, Assyrisches 
JSajidworterbuch, under elippu, and "Isaiah" in 8B0T., p. 78. 

2 Cf. Wellhausen, Prolegomena, 5th ed., p. 46, n., and Heidentum, 2d 
ed., p. 215 ; Stade, Geschichte, Vol. I, p. 457 ; Nowack, Archceologie, Vol. 
II, p. 3 ff. ; Benzinger, Archceologie, p. 367 ft. ; Winckler, Geschichte 
Israels, Vol. I, p. 70 ff. ; Couard in ZATW., Vol. XII, p. 53 ff. ; and Hop- 
kins in JAOS., Vol. XX, pp. 303-308. 

Ex. 322. 

* Even if it be true, as Driver supposes ("Deuteronomy" in Inter. 
Crit. Com., p. 118), that J originally described how Moses made the ark, 
that "would not affect this conclusion, for by the time of J, as we have 
pointed out above, many of the Ephraimitic traditions had become cur- 
rent in Judah and are mingled with the Judsean in J's writing. 

'' See references in n. 2, above. 



YAHWE 297 



Couard believes ^ that the ark was carried from Jeru- 
salem by the Egyptian king, Shishak, in the time of Reho- 
boam. That would adequately explain its disappearance 
from the later history. That disappearance would also 
give scope to the traditions to substitute without con- 
scious violence the ethical decalogue of later times for the 
ritualistic decalogue of earlier days, in response to the 
advance of the moral consciousness. 

Moses then, we may suppose, gave Israel its Yahwe 
worship, its ark as a movable temple, and a ritualistic 
decalogue. In course of time the nation passed on from 
the steppe, and, attracted by the more fertile fields of 
Palestine, won its way into Canaan. It was then most 
natural for them to give some worship to the Baals. 
Later, in the time of David, it was thought that when one 
entered upon a new land it was necessary to worship the god 
of that land,2 and centuries later than this the Babyloni- 
ans whom Sargon imported into Samaria found it neces- 
sary to propitiate the god of the new land in which they 
found themselves.^ That the Israelites actually wor- 
shipped the Baalim Hosea directly testifies.* The worship 
of Yahwe as their own tribal god was also maintained, and 
in process of time, as Budde has so well depicted,^ Yahwe 
became a Baal, — a god of the land. Agricultural festi- 
vals, once celebrated to the Baalim, became festivals 
of Yahwe, and agricultural functions, once foreign to 
him, were now thought to be his. 

The proof that Yahwe became a Baal is of various 
kinds, as follows : ® 1. Saul and David, both champions 
of the worship of Yahwe, gave names to their sons into 
which Baal enters as a constituent element, as Ish-Baal, 
Meri-Baal, and Baalyada, — names in which critics gener- 
ally agree that Baal is an epithet of Yahwe. 2. The 
shrines of Baal became in many places, as Bethel, 

1 ZATW., Vol. Xll, -p. M. 4Hos. 25. 

2 1 Sam. 2619. 6 jigi of Israel, ch. ii. 

1 2 Kgs. 172*-S4. « Cf. Budde, op eit., p. 106 ff. 



298 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



Schechem, and Hebron, shrines of Yahwe. The processes 
by which this was accomplished are described to us in 
Jud. 6. It resulted from the conquest of Yahwe and 
Israel over the Canaanites and the local Baalim. ^ Yahwe 
had proven himseK stronger than these gods by conquer- 
ing their land and their shrines. Gradually, as he became 
associated with their shrines, traditions arose to explain 
how he had consecrated them in former days by revealing 
himself to patriarchs or heroes there, so that Israel came 
to believe that Yahwe was only conquering back that 
wliich had been his own. The old rites continued, but 
now they were rites of Yahwe. 3. The transformation 
of Yahwe's ritual from the simple nomadic to the rich 
agricultural type, and its fusion with previously exist- 
ing Canaanitish ritual, is another proof that Yahwe be- 
came a Baal. To this transformation the prophets bear 
direct witness, — Amos declaring that such ritual formed 
no part of the wilderness religion,^ and Hosea that Yahwe 
was the giver of plenty.^ 4. Another proof that Yahwe 
became a Baal, is the fact that the bull became his symbol. 
It has been pointed out already* that in agricultural 
communities the bull frequently became the symbol of 
the deity, who was regarded as the giver of agricultural 
plenty. This became true also of Yahwe in Israel. 
Jeroboam could say of the bull images at Bethel and Dan, 
which from their diminutive size were called "calves," 
" Behold thy god, O Israel, which brought thee up from 
the land of Egypt," ^ i.e. "behold Yahwe." Probably 
similar images were in the temple of Yahwe at Gilgal.^ 
In the temple at Jerusalem the bull symbols appeared in 
another form ; they there supported the great laver. 
From such facts as these it is clear that when Israel con- 
quered Canaan, Yahwe became a Baal, — a god of the 
land. This accounts for the fact that Naaman took Pales- 

1 Budde, op. cit., p. 103 ff. * Above, p. 201 ff. 

2 Amos 521 ff-. 6 1 Kgs. 1228. 

' Hos. 2*. 6 Amos 5< «-, Hos. 41=, QW, 12". 



TAHWE 299 



tinian soil to Damascus in order that he might worship 
Yahwe there.^ By the time of Elisha, Yahwe was so much 
a Baal that he could be worshipped only on Palestinian soil. 
For the same reason at a later time the Babylonians, resi- 
dent in Samaria, learned the worship of Yahwe, so that as 
god of the land he might not send lions upon them.^ 

In the development of Yahwe into a Baal, his cult, or 
rather the conception of him held by his worshippers, gained 
something which was necessary before Yahwe could per- 
form for the world the lofty service which lay before him, 
for it passed from the narrow, tribal type of religion, hos- 
tile to culture and civilization into the broader sphere of 
a national religion, capable of adapting itself to the pur- 
poses of a finer and more civilized life. This transforma- 
tion was accomplished, as Budde has pointed out,^ by the 
achievement of Israelitish mastery over Palestine and the 
united efforts of prophets, priests, and kings. Meantime, 
on the outskirts of the nation lingered the Rechabites, a 
conservative force, maintaining the nomadic ideal, and pre- 
senting a continual protest against what they regarded as 
the degenerate tendency which was Baalizing Yahwe. 
The part performed by this element of the nation was in 
the end quite as necessary as that of their opponents for 
the preparation of the Yahwe cvlt for its high service to 
mankind. 

This transformation of the god of the steppe into the 
Baal of a settled community was by no means an experi- 
ence peculiar to Yahwe ; it occurred wherever the nomads 
of the oasis and the desert passed over into settled agri- 
cultural communities. The Baals of Canaan were, as we 
have seen,* themselves only gods who, like Yahwe, had 
sprung from Semitic nomadic society and had been Baal- 
ized a little in advance of him. Yahwe's kinship to them 
hastened in his case the Baalizing process. 

While this Baalizing of Yahwe was a necessary part of 

1 2 Kgs. 5". « Bel. of Israel, p. 77 fi. 

2 2 Kgs. 172'- 2s. 4 Above, pp. 147-150. 



300 SEMITIC ORIGmS 



the preparation for the place he was to hold in the religion 
of the human race, for that place he would have been no 
more fitted than any other Semitic Baal, if providentially 
the Baalizing process had not been checked at the proper 
point, and Yahwe forever differentiated in the minds of his 
worshippers from these gods. The outward events which 
were the occasion of this differentiation were as follows: 
In the reign of Ahab the natural assimilation of Yahwe 
to Baal was interrupted by the violent introduction of a 
foreign influence. Ahab had married a Tyrian princess, 
who was of course allowed to bring the worship of her 
native gods with her. Being of an ambitious nature, she 
prompted her husband to trample upon the popular rights,^ 
and thereby aroused the sentiment of the people against 
her. She seems to have looked with disdain upon the 
simpler religious rites of her new and comparatively rustic 
home, and to have endeavored to introduce the more ornate 
and voluptuous cult of Tyre. Tyre was at the time one 
of the world's great emporia ; through its sea-faring mer- 
chants the wealth of the nations flowed into it.^ Its 
riches had pampered the lusts of its citizens, and had made 
the excesses of that Semitic worship, the rites of which 
appealed so strongly to the passions of men, as much 
worse than the rites of that worship at Samaria as those 
of Samaria were worse than those of the wandering tribes 
of the steppe. It was this new and sudden excess of 
wantonness combined with oppression which aroused the 
opposition of the conservatives in Israel. This opposition 
was headed by Elijah the Tishbite, from Gilead, a country 
of pasture lands where the forms of nomadic life and the 
original ritual of the worship of Yahwe were probably 
less disturbed by the settled life of Israel than in the more 
productive regions west of the Jordan. Accompanying 
this new assertion of popular rights and of Yahwe's abhor- 
rence of foreign gods and oppressive, debased morals, there 
was manifested a new and unique conception of God and 
1 1 Kgs. 2 2 Ez. 27, 28. 



YAHWE 301 



of ethical standards. How far these were manifested in 
Elijah himself it is impossible to say ; but his work was 
in successive generations taken up by Elisha, Amos, Hosea, 
Isaiah, and the great succession of literary prophets down 
to the close of the Babylonian exile, and from Amos on- 
ward the new moral and monotheistic conception of Yahwe 
can be traced. This is not the place in which to sketch 
in detail this prophetic struggle ; those who wish to read 
it may easily do so in the masterly little treatise of Budde ^ 
so frequently mentioned already. 

So far as the outward features of this struggle were 
concerned, it seemed at the start to be a battle between the 
nomadic ideal of Yahwe and the excessively voluptuous 
Baal of a wealthy Semitic city, — a struggle which ap- 
pears perfectly natural, and indeed inevitable. We can- 
not, however, follow the story of the conflict far without 
perceiving that there were unexpected issues involved in 
it, — that unique ethical standards and conceptions of God 
were here struggling for expression, standards which 
are quite unaccounted for by their environment. From 
Amos onward practical monotheism, social justice, and 
purity — a justice and purity which are thought to have 
their root in the very nature of Yahwe — are proclaimed. 

The way for this proclamation had been prepared by 
the covenant which Moses had mediated between Yahwe 
and his people. A god bound to his people by kinship 
could never exert upon his worshippers an influence for 
moral elevation which should transcend their inclinations. 
Like an Arabic sheik, he might be angry and neglect his 
people for a time, but in the last extremity he must help 
them, for his position, nay, his very existence, depended 
upon that of his kinsmen. With a covenant god all this 
was changed. Bound to his people by contract only, 
with an independent existence quite apart from them, 
he could easily cast off an unfaithful people who refused 
to fulfil their part of the covenant. Upon this fact the 
1 Beligion of Israel to the Exile. 



302 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



prophets seized, and from generation to generation urged 
it with persistence and force. ^ 

This fact would have had little significance, however, 
but for the new moral and spiritual conception of Yahwe 
which they taught along with it. Never in the Semitic 
world before had such lofty conceptions of God been pro- 
claimed ; never had such ideals of life been urged upon a 
people. While these ideals form the burden of the utter- 
ance of all the literary prophets, they did not begin with 
them ; they had been felt in part for some time in those 
prophetic circles in which the J and E documents were 
composed, and probably in germ were harbored in the 
breast of Elijah. This prophetic conception of Yahwe 
aimed to bring back his cult to what the prophets con- 
ceived to be its primitive purity. Such in every age has 
been the goal of reform, — to establish Mosaism, or 
apostolic Christianity, or whatever the primitive form of 
the religion in which the reform is working may have 
been. We have not yet reached a point of religious cul- 
ture, where men generally are willing to work for, or to 
accept, a religious ideal which they are not persuaded 
is primitive. To consciously strive for an entirely new 
ideal is even now a rare phenomenon in religious ac- 
tivity. So the prophets labored and struggled, — Amos, 
to get rid of feasts which he declared formed no part 
of the wilderness religion ; ^ Hosea, to take Israel away 
from her Baal lovers back to the wilderness ideal as he 
conceived it, of conjugal fidelity to Yahwe ; ^ and subse- 
quent prophets take up similar plaints and labor for similar 
ends.* 

In this connection it will be of help to a clear under- 
standing of the work of the prophets and the outward aids 
to their success to note four facts : 1. In this long battle 
Yahwe was not only differentiated from the Baals and the 

iSee e.g. Amos 32- S; Hos. 2; Isa. S'-'; Jer. 31*; Ez. 20; and Isa. 

2 Ch. 52«- 26. a Hos. 2. « Cf . e.g. Isa. li^s and Jer. 3. 



YAHWB 303 



clan cults of the various Israelitish tribes,^ but from his 
own original nature. The Yahwe whose ancestry we 
have been tracing was, as Paul would say, the Yahwe 
according to the flesh ; in the age of the prophets the 
Yahwe according to the Spirit appeared in the world. 
Yahwe at the close of the prophetic period — Yahwe, the 
one God of the world — was as conceived by his followers 
a very different being from Yahwe as worshipped by the 
Kenites and by Moses. ^ The latter was, as we have seen, 
a god of fertility, pleased with such rites as similar gods 
of fertility among Semites of a like degree of civilization 
were supposed to sanction. He was less gross than Baal 
only because the nomadic environment imposed greater 
simplicity of life upon his followers. Yahwe as conceived 
by the faithful in Israel at the end of the exile was the 
God of the world, just and righteous himself, and satisfied 
with nothing less in his followers. The conception of 
him then held needed but the broadening and deepening 
which was to come in part through the contact of his 
followers with a larger world in the succeeding centuries, 
and in part through the teaching of Jesus Christ, to be- 
come the ultimate conception of God for the ages, — meta- 
physically perfect,^ morally perfect,* religiously perfect.^ 

2. In this transformation of Yahwe the absence of 
written religious records of the earlier time was a positive 
help. If there were written tables of law in the ark, as 
we have seen, they probably disappeared in the time of 

1 Budde, Bel. of Israel, p. 71 ff. 

* If, as we have supposed, Moses conveyed to Israel a brief summary of 
ritual, and as many critics have also supposed, as the leader of Israel he 
judged causes (or brought them to the sacred lot of Yahwe for adjudica- 
tion), it would be most natural for the successive legislation, each code of 
which was designed by its promoters to revive what they conceived to be 
primitive Mosaism, to be all ascribed to him. 

s " God is Spirit," John 42*. 

* " God is light," 1 John 1^. Light is used by this writer as equivalent 
to moral purity ; darkness is his synonym for evil. 

6 " God is love," 1 John 4*- ^^. Love here has lost its old Semitic phys- 
ical meaning. It is love as defined in 1 Cor. 13. 



304 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



Rehoboam. The whole fate of the ritual and the concep- 
tion of what Yahwe required were thereafter committed 
to tradition. If one came forward from Judah claiming 
one ideal as Mosaic, Ephraim, if she possessed a higher 
ideal, could claim the authority of her own traditions as 
proof of the Mosaic authority of the loftier conception. 
When the Deuteronomic law was afterward found in the 
temple, there was no authoritative written bar to its recep- 
tion, and as that law appealed to the religious conscious- 
ness of the prophets of the time,^ it too could be freely 
adopted. Thus freedom for advance without unnecessary 
friction was afforded. The ghost of the natural Yahwe 
could not rise to successfully contest the rights of the 
spiritual Yahwe. 

3. The endeavor of the prophets to gain a hearing for 
their spiritual conceptions of God and their ethical con- 
ceptions of life were greatly aided by the outward events 
of Israel's history. A series of national disasters, result- 
ing in the overthrow of the northern kingdom in 722 B.C. 
and of the kingdom of Judah in 586 B.C., gave especial 
point to the teachings of the prophets. The better minds 
among the people were thus aroused to listen and obey ; 
while the obstinate were absorbed, either among the nations 
whither they were carried captive, or among the mongrel 
Samaritans where they were left. 

4. It should be borne in mind that the prophetic en- 
deavor of those centuries did not, in one sense, accom- 
plish the ideal which at the beginning (or at least early 
in the conflict) it had set before itself. In the eighth 
century it had high hopes of sweeping away the ritual 
altogether ; ^ but the reaction under Manasseh seems to 
have convinced the prophetic leaders that the time was 
not yet ripe for trusting their spiritual conceptions to the 
stormy voyage of the centuries, unprotected by some ark 
of legal forms. The Deuteronomic law was then formu- 
lated to embody the new conception of the fundamental 

1 2 Kings 22W«. 2 Cf. Amos 5=1-25 ; Hos. 66 ; Isa. iwff-. 



YAHWE 305 



principles of Yahweism in a practical working form. In 
this law all sanctuaries but one were abolished ; all out- 
ward paraphernalia which might tend in the popular 
mind to associate Yahwe with Baal, or even with the 
common root from which both had sprung, were rigidly 
excluded. Ritual there was to be sure, but ritual robbed, 
in so far as it could be, of power to degrade the wor- 
shipper. Massebas and 'asheras were swept away, and all 
sexual ritual was absolutely prohibited. In the adoption 
of this law, however, the older ideal was in some degree 
abandoned, and concession made to practical conditions. 
In the earlier days the prophets and the priesthood — at 
least in the northern kingdom — appear in strong antago- 
nism to one another, but in the Deuteronomic reform 
they joined hands. A little later, in Jeremiah and Eze- 
kiel, members of the Levitical and priestly circles became 
prophets. Ezekiel proposed for the post-exilic days a 
modification of the Deuteronomic law ; others of the 
priestly circles followed in his steps, till by the time of 
Ezra and Nehemiah the earlier prophetic standards were 
quite reversed, and legal morality had become the ideal — 
instead of the free, spiritual morality of the earlier prophets. 

This change seems to have been in its turn providential. 
The joyous period, when the inspiring voice of contempo- 
rary faith could nerve to noble endeavor, had passed 
away ; times were at hand which would try men's souls, 
— times when an objective ritual for which Israel could 
struggle was a necessity, if she were to survive for the 
high service which awaited her. This ritual was codified 
and accepted, moreover, at a time when the prophetic 
ideals of Yahwe had deeply penetrated both people and 
priests, so that the new Levitical law, though compiled 
from the ancient and sometimes superstitious ^ usages of 
the old local sanctuaries, was so purified of most of its 
dross that it reflected the new conception of God. 

The outline of the genesis and development of Yahwe 
1 Cf. Nu. 5"-2i and the sacrifice to Azazel in Lev. 16. 



306 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



given above may not be attested by evidence sufficient to 
commend it to those who are averse to critical study, or 
are unaccustomed to the reconstruction of the origins of 
civilization by the restoration to their original environ- 
ment of fossil customs, born in barbarism, which survive 
long after their origin is forgotten. The evidence is, 
however, sufficient, I believe, to carry weight with those 
who have some familiarity with investigations in primi- 
tive religion and of the nature of the evidence which we 
have a right to expect. 

The results which our discussions have reached are also 
most reassuring to the lover of the Old Testament. 
Nothing could show more conclusively than the above in- 
vestigation does that the moral standards of the prophets 
and their conception of God are utterly unaccounted for 
by their environment. The tendency, shared by the an- 
cestors of the Hebrews in common with other Semites, to 
deify the functions whereby physical life was produced, 
could give no promise, when judged by the fruits it pro- 
duced in other places, of the rich and pure ethical and re- 
ligious harvest which it bore in Israel. The primitive 
conception of physical fatherhood became after Hosea^ 
the conception of a moral father with all the high quali- 
ties of an unselfish parent raised to an infinite power. 
The early conception of a deity who gloried in the pro- 
cesses of reproduction, however savagely they were in- 
dulged in, was replaced by the conception of Yahwe as a 
tender and affectionate Husband who grieved over the in- 
continent pollution of Israel, the bride of his choice, — a 
Husband whose love was the embodiment of all purity, 
whose rule demanded perfect ethical relations between his 
sons, and especially between his sons and daughters. If 
critical study makes it impossible for us to trace the birth 
of these conceptions back to Abraham or Moses, or to ac- 
count for them by the supposition that they descended 
from heaven amidst the thunders of Sinai, it nevertheless 

1 Hos. 111. 



YAHWE 307 



emphasizes their real inspiration, for it demonstrates on 
the one hand that they first took their shape on earth in 
human minds, as all spiritual conceptions must, and on 
the other that there was nothing in their physical and 
social environment which adequately explains them, — 
that, after all, the inspiring touch of these prophetic hearts 
by the divine Spirit is their only real explanation. We 
go back to the rise of Semitic life, we test its nature at 
the root, we trace its many -branched trunk through the 
various civilizations ; but we find in none of them except 
this little Hebrew branch ^ any potency or promise of 
spiritual flower or ethical fruit so rich and fair ; we trace 
the outward events of the appearance and growth of this 
little branch, we find here a favorable condition, there a 
providential adversity, but none of these fully account 
for the beauty of the branch or the purity of its flower 
and fruit. Nothing approaching it in sublimity^ has 
without its help been produced in other parts of the 
world. We are compelled at the end of our study to con- 
fess that "men from God spake, being moved by the 
Holy Spirit. "3 

It must be remembered, however, that it is not as 
strange as it might at first appear to be, that such spir- 
itual conceptions should have been grafted upon the 
Semitic stock, which has often seemed so sensual ; for as 
was pointed out above,* recent investigation is opening 
our eyes to the fact that the religious and moral develop- 
ment of the race has been closely bound up with father- 
hood and motherhood, and that the periods of religious 

1 I do not forget the good points of Mohammedanism, but Mohammed 
was clearly indebted to Judaism and Christianity for much of his con- 
ception of God. 

2 Single thinkers in Egypt, Greece, India, and China may have reached 
thoughts similar to these, but the sublimity which appears in Israel is 
that of a practical monotheism accepted by the whole nation, — men, 
women, and children ; the loftiest thoughts of God applied to daily duties 
by all. 

» 2 Pet. 1^1. * See above, p. 107. 



308 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



growth in the individual coincide with the periods of 
physical preparation for these functions. Religious prog- 
ress has always been most marked where the rational 
and mystical elements appear in the happiest combination. 
Where the rational element predominates, religion be- 
comes a cold formality ; where the mystical is in excess, 
it becomes fanciful and extravagant, losing real touch 
with life. But the mystical has always delighted to 
express itself in terms of spiritual matrimony, and is the 
purified form of that which the early Semites far back in 
the evolution of civilization so grossly expressed.^ With 
all its excesses, therefore, we must consider the widespread 
Semitic cult as the preparation of a religious soil, in which 
the lofty conceptions of God and duty, which appear so 
unique in Israel, could take root and produce their fruit. 

1 See the paper of de la Grassarie, read in 1900 at the Paris Congress 
of Religion. Cf . Bevue de Vhistoire de religion, Vol. XLII, p. 158. 



CHAPTER VIII 

BEIEP ESTIMATE OP SEMITIC SOCIAL AND EELIGIOUS 
INFLUENCE ON THE NON-SEMITIC WORLD 

We have now concluded our brief survey of the birth of 
Semitic social and religious life, and its various develop- 
ments among the Semitic peoples. Before concluding this 
imperfect sketch, it will be helpful to briefly indicate the 
various points at which the institutions studied in the pre- 
ceding pages have touched and influenced the non-Semitic 
world. No extended discussion can be attempted here ; 
we shall content ourselves with indicating what the influ- 
ences have been, and the points at which they have been 
felt. To attempt to follow them out in detail would re- 
quire the services of many specialists in several different 
fields ; but to ignore them entirely would leave upon the 
reader an unjust estimate of the value of the institu- 
tions we have been studying as contributors to modern 
civilization. 

From institutions such as these it is obvious that two 
circles of influence would radiate. From the barbarous 
Semitic institutions, perpetuated by religious conservatism 
far into a succeeding and higher civilization, corrupting 
and disintegrating influences would surely radiate. From 
the lofty and austere morality of the Hebrews of later 
times, from the lofty spiritual vision of the prophets, there 
have come, on the other hand, some of the best elements of 
subsequent civilization. 

In attempting this brief estimate, we shall, for obvious 
reasons, confine our attention mainly to the world which 
lay west of the Semitic territory. The Semites of the 

.W9 



310 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



ancient Babylonian kingdom of Kish must, through their 
colonies in Elam,i have exerted an important influence 
upon the kingdom of Elam and upon all the neighboring 
states which Elam could influence ; but until more of the 
inscriptions of Elam have been discovered and we are able 
to read the Elamitic language,^ we cannot even reconstruct 
the Elamitic civilization, much less tell the influences which 
moulded it. 

Similarly we might inquire whether after the time of 
Cyrus the institutions of the Persian conquerors of Baby- 
lon were affected by their contact with the older Semitic 
civilization, but no very positive results can at present be 
obtained. Cyrus himself speaks, in his well-known cylin- 
der inscription,^ as though he had become a worshipper of 
Babylonian gods, or at least of Marduk, but it is probable 
that in this respect he was simply a statesman who, as a 
matter of fact, kept his own native creed.* At all events, 
his immediate successors appear by their religious expres- 
sions^ to be practically untouched by Semitic influences, 
and to have maintained the worship of Ahuramazda in toler- 
able purity. Whether Babylonian architecture influenced 
Persian architecture, or the Babylonian religious hymns 
the later Persian religious literature, are problems for the 
Iranian scholar rather than the present writer. They 
would not, even if we had their solution, give much help 
in the pursuit of the influences we are now trying to trace. 

If now we turn to the other extremity of the Babylo- 
nian and Assyrian world, we come upon a territory where 
our problem, though far from soluble, presents us, even in 

1 Cf. Delegation en Perse. Memoires publies sous la direction de M. J. 
de Morgan, Tom. II, Textes elamites-semitiques, par V. Scheil, Paris, 1900. 

2 For an attempt to read certain Elamitic words, cf. Jensen's "Alt^ 
und Neuelamitisciies " in ZDMG., Vol. LV (1901), p. 223 ff. 

3 KB., Vol. IIP, p. 120 ff. 

* Cf. Gray in JAOS., Vol. XXP, p. 179. 

' Cf. Bezold's Achimeniden Inschriften ; Assyrian and Babylonian 
Literature, Aldine ed., N. Y., 1901, pp. 171-194, and Jackson in JAOS., 
Vol. XXI2, p. 160 ff. 



SEMITIC SOCIAL AND KELIGIOUS INFLUENCE 311 

the imperfect state of our present knowledge, with an an- 
swer which, though somewhat dim in outline, is probably 
in general correct. A group of contract tablets from Cap- 
padocia, in the eastern part of Asia Minor, written some- 
where between 1300 and 1100 b.c.,^ attest the presence of 
a strong Assyrian influence in this part of Asia Minor at 
that period. These tablets contain proper names into 
which the names of the deities Assur and Ishtar enter as 
compounds, and make it probable that the Assyrian reli- 
gion, as well as Assyrian culture, made itself felt in this 
region at that time.^ It is hardly probable that the wave 
of Semitic migration represented by these tablets stands 
alone. If the Assyrians had not penetrated into this re- 
gion at an earlier time than that just indicated, it is prob- 
able that the Aramseans had done so. At least, a little 
later their influence, Jensen thinks, can be distinctly 
traced.^ Thus they had given the region a touch of Se- 
mitic influence. How far Semitic influences coming in 
this way penetrated the life and moulded the institutions 
of the country, it is impossible now to say. It was evidently 
considerable. A little later, and possibly at the time of 
which we speak, Cilicia and the regions to the westward 
seem to have been occupied by the Hittites, whose monu- 
ments indicate that they penetrated to the neighborhood 
of Cappadocia.* Hittite monuments are found in many 
parts of Asia Minor, and Hittite civilization must have 
penetrated the country deeply.^ Not until the Hittite 
inscriptions are deciphered can we justly estimate how far 
Hittite civilization has been influenced by Semitic. 

Jensen, who has struck out a new path for the decipher- 
ment of Hittite and has probably rightly identified some 

1 Cf. Peiser in KB., Vol. IV, p. viii. 

2 For the contents of some of them cf. KB., Vol. IV, pp. 50-57. 
' Hittiler und Armenier, pp. 170-177. 

* See Messerschmidt's "Corpus Inscriptionum Hettiticarum," in the 
Mitteilungen der vorderasiatischen Gesellschaft, 1900, I, p. 21, and II, 
Tafeln XXVII, XXVIII, and XXIX. 

6 See the work of Messerschmidt just cited, passim. 



312 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



of the signs,^ has shown that these inscriptions probably 
date from 1200 to 800 B.C. While it is probable that the 
Hittites were in this region considerably earlier than the 
time when their written monuments begin, it is also prob- 
able that they had felt the influence of the Semitic contact 
long before Tiglath-pileser I encountered them about 
1100 B.C. in the region of Carchemish.^ Probability re- 
ceives in this case some slight confirmation from other 
sources. Some of the specimens of their art, like the 
statue, discovered by Koldeway,^ of the weather god, shows 
positive evidence of the influence of Babylonian and Assyr- 
ian art.* 

It is not certain, however, that Hittite civilization was 
altogether dissimilar to the Semitic. It is true that many 
scholars have regarded the Hittites as belonging to the 
Turanian or Mongolian family of peoples,^ while Jensen 
believes them to be Aryans,® and the ancestors of the 
modern Armenians. Jensen's arguments on this point 
are, however, too slender to be convincing. Jensen him- 
self has pointed out that many of their characters re- 
semble in certain characteristics'' Egyptian hieroglyphs, 
while Jastrow claims that many of their proper names 
found in Assyrian and Egyptian inscriptions are of the 
Semitic type.^ Sergi,^ from anthropological evidence, be- 

1 In two articles in ZDMO. , Vol. XL VIII, and his Bittiter und Arme- 
nier, 1898. For dates see the latter work, pp. 189-216. 

2 KB., Vol. I, p. 33. 

' Cf. Messerschmidt, op. cit., Tafel I, Nos. 5, 6. 

■* Possibly too at a later time Semitic influences directly from Arabia 
were felt here. Eamsay (Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, p. 91, n. 2) 
inclines to accept a suggestion of Robertson Smith's that Leto, the name 
of a goddess of this region, is a corruption of Al-Lat. 

^ Cf. Wright, The, Empire of the Hittites; Sayce, Baces of the Old Tes- 
tament; Conder, The Hittites. 

° Op. cit. ' Cf. Hittiter und Armenier, p. 03. 

8 Cf. his article " Hittites," § 12, in Encycl. Bib. The point is of com- 
paratively small value because the inscriptions use the term Hittite so 
loosely that they frequently refer to Semites under this name. Thus Sar- 
gon (KB., Vol. II, p. 57) calls an Aramaean king of Hamath a Hittite. 

' Mediterranean Mace, p. 144. 



SEMITIC SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS INFLUENCE 313 

lieves that the Hittites were an African race of the same 
stock as the Libyans or Berbers, and that all Asia Minor 
was peopled by this same stock, which he believes were 
one in race with the Pelasgians. In the midst of so many 
conflicting views one cannot hold any positive opinion 
with reference to the origin of the Hittites, though it may 
be pardonable to take the opinion of Sergi as a working 
hypothesis. If they are a branch of the great North 
African race, it is quite possible that the same oasis influ- 
ence which produced the Egyptian Isis and the Semitic 
Ishtar may have given them a similar goddess. At all 
events, whether from native Hittite conceptions, or Se- 
mitic influences, or from both,i the Hittites possessed such 
a goddess.^ The evidence of this comes not only from their 
monuments, but from the evidences of their influence on 
Asia Minor. Hittite civilization spread over all Asia 
Minor,^ and it is altogether probable that the Phrygian 
goddess, known variously as Rhea, Attis, Cybele,* Leto, 
and Artemis, is but a later form of this Hittite divinity, 
who, whatever her home-born inheritance may have been, 
probably had a considerable element of Semitic conception 
about her. She dates from a time when the inhabitants 
of the country were totemistic and lived in caves, as many 
of her shrines were grottos.^ That this goddess was in 
nature the same as Ashtart is clear from the fact that she 
was an earth goddess of fertility and love, that a feast was 
celebrated to her at the time of the vernal equinox, that 
the swine was sacred to her, that ceremonies practically 
identical with the Tammuz wailing were yearly celebrated 



1 Cults of similar nature would assimilate the more readily. 

2 Cf. Jensen, Hittiter und Armenier, pp. 157 ff., 166 ff., and Messer- 
schmidt, op. cit., Tafel XXVII, B. 

3 Cf. Jastrow, " Hittites," § 11, inHncyc. Bib., and the evidence of the 
widely scattered inscriptions in Messerschmidt, op. cit. 

* Cf. Strabo, X, 3, 12. 

6 Cf. Pausanias, X, 32, 3, and Ramsay, Cities and Bishoprics ofPhrygia, 
pp. 89 fE., 138 ff. 



314 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



to her,i and that she is often described by Greek writers 
as androgynous,^ as we have seen the Semitic goddess in 
various places to be,^ and that like the Semitic goddess, a 
god is in many places represented as her son.* The an- 
drogynous character indicates what we also learn elsewhere, 
that this goddess of Asia Minor, like the great Semitic 
deity, had a long career as a goddess in a matriarchal com- 
munity,^ before the changing conditions of civilization 
transformed her in some places to a male,^ and that at 
some points religious sentiment crystallized (or was em- 
balmed in literature) while popular conceptions were in a 
confused state with reference to her sex. This cult as has 
been said, was widely disseminated in Asia Minor.'' 

While we cannot claim that this cult in Asia Minor was 
solely of Semitic origin, it is probable that it was not only 
of kindred origin, but also deeply penetrated by Semitic 
influences. The cult of Aphrodite-^neas, which flourished 
in the Troad, was, as Farnell has pointed out,^ an offshoot 
of the cult of this old Phrygian-Hittite goddess. Much 
obscurity attaches to the person of iEneas, but Farnell's 
conjecture* that he was the mythical founder of a house 
of priestly kings who maintained the worship of the god- 
dess seems the most satisfactory explanation of it. The 

1 Cf. Baudessin, Studien zur semitischen Beligionsgeschichte, Vol. II, 
pp. 188 and 203-207 ; also P. Decharme's article " Cybele," in Darmberge 
and Saglio's Diet, des ant. grec. et rom., p. 1682. 

^ Cf. Pindar, Pyth., II, 127 ; Pausanias, VII, 17, 10 ; and Lucian, de 
Syria Dea, § 15. 

8 Cf. above, pp. 148 ff., 181 ff., 244, and 254 ; also JAOS., Vol. XXI^ 
p. 185 ff. 

* Cf. Ramsay, Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, pp. 130 ft., 133 fl., 
167 ff., 169 fi. 

6 Cf . Ramsay, op cit. , pp. 7 ff. and 94 ff. 

« Cf. Ramsay, op cit., pp. 7 ff., 52 ff., 167 ff. 

' In addition to references given above cf. Herodotus, V, 102, Pausanias, 
III, 22, 4 ; Messersclimidt, op cit., I, p. 33 ; and Ramsay's Cities and Bish- 
oprics of Phrygia, pp. 51 fi., 89 ff., 130 ff., 133 ff., 138 ff. For Artemis 
at Ephesus, cf. Acts 19. 

8 Cults of the Greek States, p. 641. 

9 Ibid., p. 638. Cf. Strabo, XIII, 1, 53. 



SEMITIC SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS INFLUENCE 315 

myths of the wanderings of iEneas are the story of the 
diffusion of this cult.^ By means of these myths we may 
trace it to Thrace, to Zacynthos, to Buthrotum, to the 
southeast coast of Italy, and to Eryx in the Island of Sic- 
ily,^ where it met and mingled with waves of influence 
direct from Phoenicia.^ On the way to these points it had 
planted itself in southern Laconia,* Arcadia,^ and Argos.^ 
All forms of the myth, however, represent the goal of 
JEneas as Italy, and it is certain that the cult was estab- 
lished at various points along the Italian shore of the Adri- 
atic,^ at Naples,^ and also at Rome.^ At the latter city it 
seems to have been unknown in the days of the kings, but 
was afterward introduced from the South. In later times 
it became a powerful influence, reenf orced as it was by more 
recently imported influences from the East, for the cor- 
ruption of Roman society and the destruction of the aus- 
tere morals of the earlier Roman period. 

From Phoenicia waves of migration to the westward 
began at an early date, — probably by 1400 B.C. or earlier, 
— and wherever the emigrants went, they carried with 
them the cult of their native goddess. We have already 
followed in part their course through the islands of the 
Mediterranean,!" j^^jt tj^gy also made their way to the main- 
land of Greece, where settlements were made at several 
points, and Phoenician influence was accordingly a factor 
in the resulting religion and mythology. ^^ Thus in Greece 
two waves of this cult met and mingled, one from Asia 
Minor and the region of Semitized Hittite influence, and 

1 Cf. the references in Famell, op cit., p. 737 ff. I am indebted to tliis 
work for a number of the references given below. 

^ For these places of. Dion. Halic. , I, 39-50. 

8 See above, p. 252 ff. ' Catullus, XXXVI, 11. 

4 Pausanias, III, 22, 11. » C. I. Gr., No. 5796. 

6 Ibid., VIII, 12, 9. 8 strabo, V, 2, 6. 

« Ibid., II, 21, 1. " Above, p. 252 ff. 

" Cf. Famell, op. cit., p. 618 ff., especially, p. 624 ; Robert Brown, Jr., 
Semitic Influence in Hellenic Mijthology ; and Dyer, The Gods of Greece, 
pp. 163-173. 



316 SEMITIC ORIGINS 

the other from Semitic Phoenicia. One of the plac 
where Phoenician influence was most directly felt was 
Thebes, in Bceotia. The Phoenician influence is not or 
attested by the name, Kadmos,^ but Herodotus was i 
quainted with a tradition that Kadmos was a Tyriaj 
The traditional origin of this worship at Thebes is cc 
firmed by the functions of the Aphrodite worshipp 
there. She was a goddess of fertility, who presided o\ 
the relations of the sexes to one another, and was a] 
regarded as the mother of Adonis, the wailing for whc 
formed a part of her ritual.^ 

The cult which thus penetrated Greece from two dir< 
tions was spread pretty generally over it.* That it \i 
not native to the Greeks is very clear. ^ Perhaps the ci 
found its way into Greece at a time before the develc 
ment of wealth and luxury in Hittite and Semitic Ian 
had removed from its peculiar rites the simple innoceu 
of early days ; or perhaps early Greek morals were t 
pure to be seriously corrupted by these streams frc 
abroad. However this may be, if Farnell is to be 1 
lieved,^ Aphrodite in the early years of Greek history ^^ 
little more than the personification of the power of fertili 
and love in life, and neither moral nor immoral. In lai 
times — after the fourth century B.C. — this was cons: 
erably changed. The influence of the hetserse spread 
social life ; national pride sank, and the temples of Aph 
dite, as the restraints of the earlier time were thro^ 
aside, became more and more what they had been 
Phoenician cities like Tyre and Sidon, and from ma 
centres debased Greek life. 

By the beginning of the Christian era, then, this ci 
which in one way or another had come to be widely so 
tered in the Mediterranean countries, had produced 
the society of the Roman Empire, especially in the easti 

1 From aip, "the east." = Bk. II, 49. = Pausanias, IX, 16, 3 

* Farnell, Ciilts of the Greek States, p. 618 ff. 

6 Farnell, ibid., p. 619 ft. « Ibid., p. 664 S. 



SEMITIC SOCIAL AND KBLIGIODS rNFLtTENCE 317 

portion of it, a condition of social and domestic laxity- 
analogous to that in ancient Israel against which Elijah 
and his successors had protested. At Corinth, for ex- 
ample, the sensuality so strongly rebuked by the apostle 
Paul 1 is directly traceable to the corrupting influences of 
the temple of Aphrodite which overlooked the city.^ The 
corruption thus produced by the religious sanction, which 
was thrown over practices which were no longer naif and 
innocent, must be set down to the disadvantage of the old 
Semitic cult. To that extent it is chargeable for human 
degradation. 

Out of the society of these times there came, however, 
an institution for the birth of which the laxity in social 
life, produced by the worship described above, is in large 
part responsible, concerning which different individuals 
will make widely different estimates. Whether monasti- 
cism — for it is this to which I refer — has been on the 
whole a blessing to the world depends upon the point 
of view from which one looks at it. No doubt there 
were many forces at work in the society and theology of 
the early Church to produce that exaltation of virginity 
and celibacy in the first century which culminated in the 
formation of the monastic orders of the fourth and subse- 
quent centuries;^ but one of those forces — and one which, 
I am convinced, was more potent than has often been 
supposed — was a reaction from that sensuality, conse- 
crated under the name of religion, which was destroying 
the society of the civilized world. It is little wonder that 
for a time earnest souls should almost couple the matri- 
monial state, even in its purity, with heathenism, and 
extol celibacy as the only pure and Christian life. 

1 1 Cor. 5, 6. 2 pausanias, II, 5, 1. 

' Cf. Kirchengeschichte, von K. Miiller, Vol. I, pp. 208-216, Monasticism, 
its Ideals and History, by Adolf Harnaoh, translated by C. R. Gillett, 
N.Y., 1895, pp. 5-44, The Monastic Life, by T. N. Allies, London, 1896, 
chs. i-iii, Christian Monasticism, by I. G. Smith, London, 1892, oh. v, 
Monasticism, Ancient and Modern, by F. C. Woodhouse, London, 1896, 
chs. i, ii, and SchafiE's History of the Christian Church, Vol. Ill, p. 158 H. 



318 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



Doubtless in the centuries which have since elapsed 
other causes have perpetuated the monastic orders. As a 
means of consecrating life to contemplation and service 
they have appealed to ardent individuals ; because armies 
of men and women, thus unencumbered by the ordinary 
ties of domestic life, have been useful to the rulers of the 
church for the accomplishment of their various ends, they 
have appealed to the hierarchy ; but in them we have with 
us to the present hour an institution which is, in part at 
least, a monument to the reaction from the influences for 
evil of the worst elements of the old Semitic cult. 

In the last analysis, however, the powers for good which 
the world has derived from Semitic influence outweigh 
those which have made for evil. We should never forget 
that the three great monotheistic religions of the world, 
Judaism, Christianity, and Mohammedanism, have all 
sprung from the religious soil which was prepared by the 
primitive cult, the origin and history of which we have 
been tracing. 

The rise in Israel of the sublime conceptions of God and 
duty which created Judaism we have already sketched,^ 
but we have not hitherto noted the beneficent influence 
which Judaism exerted, in the centuries immediately 
preceding the beginning of our era, upon the GrBeco- 
Roman world. Dispersed as the Jews had been after the 
time of Alexander the Great, by contact with the world 
their conception of their mission was greatly broadened 
and exalted. Formerly they had thought that for the 
sake of themselves alone they were the favorites of heaven; 
now they regarded themselves as divinely sent missionaries 
to the world. A propaganda was accordingly inaugurated, 
equipped with an extensive literature,^ to win the world 
to Judaism. At the time old national faiths were worn 

1 Above, pp. 300-305. 

2 Cf. Schiirer's History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus 
Christ, Div. II, Vol. II, p. 220 it. For a briefer sketch, Thatcher's 
Apostolic Church, ch. ii. 



SEMITIC SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS INELUENCB 319 

out ; philosophy had taught many the irrationality of 
former cults ; the moral sense of numbers was turning in 
disgust from social corruption protected under the name 
of religion. To these Judaism, with its lofty conception 
of God and its austere morals, came as a refuge and an in- 
spiration, and at this distance we can only guess at its 
power for good ; it must have been immense. 

Judaism had, nevertheless, its limitations; it was after 
all a national faith. Men could obtain its benefits only by 
becoming by adoption members of the Jewish race ; there- 
fore, soon after the beginning of our era, Christianity 
easily succeeded to its mission. The old Semitic cult had 
prepared the soil for Judaism ; both had prepared the soil 
for the teaching of Jesus Christ. The matchless figure 
of the Master is much less explained by his environment 
than the monotheism of the Old Testament prophets ; and 
yet it was no accident that the seed of his teaching was 
sown on a warm, religious, Semitic soil. Nowhere else in 
the world had such a soil been so remarkably prepared. 
Christianity, freed through the labors of Paul and such as 
he from the trammels of Jewish particularism, with the 
prophetic idea of God completed and perfected, with its 
consciousness of human brotherhood and the absolute 
worth of every individual, went forth to conquer, leaven,^ 
and renovate the ancient world. Such is the imperfection 
of human nature that no ideals, when embodied in human 
institutions, are always perfectly expressed or altogether 
unmingled with baser metal. It has therefore happened 
to Christianity, as to every other religion, that much that 
should never have been connected with the name of 
religion at all has masqueraded under its garb. Not- 
withstanding this, the religion of Jesus Christ has exerted 
influences for the moral and spiritual elevation of the 
world such as have radiated from no other centre, and 
which are simply immeasurable. It is the religion of the 

1 See e.g. the 'beautiful description of the effects of early Christianity 
in the Epistle to Diognetus, oh. v. 



320 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



best civilization; it is capable of becoming the religion 
of mankind ; its dross is not inherent in it and may be 
purged away ; its spirit, its ethics, and its ideals are the 
hope of the world. Yet Christianity, with all that it has 
been, is, and promises to be, traces its ancestry " according 
to the flesh " back to the primitive Semitic cult. 

Mohammedanism must not be omitted from this esti- 
mate. Though born later than Christianity, and deriving 
its monotheism from the same source, its birth in the Ara- 
bian peninsula, where civilization had reached a less ele- 
vated plane, placed it at a great disadvantage, if judged 
from the point of view of an ethical civilization. Its 
prophet during the earlier years of his career was earnest 
and sincere, and the recipient of a genuine inspiration ; 
but in later life he departed from this lofty plane, and 
lived for ends which were not entirely unselfish and are 
not above the suspicion of sensuality. Its book, the 
Qur'an, legislates on the plane of the simple and half- 
barbarous life of the Arabian desert for the civil and 
religious polity of the world for all time. 

No doubt Mohammedanism has in many parts exerted 
an influence for good. Where its sway has extended 
over races of a lower order of civilization than that of 
Arabia, it has tended to elevate them ; but it stunts and 
blasts higher civilizations wherever it comes in contact 
with them. Perhaps when at its best, in the Middle Ages, 
it was nearly on a par with the Christianity it opposed ; 
but when its best products in the way of civilization 
to-day are placed by the best products of Christian civili- 
zation, the verdict of superiority does not fall in favor of 
Mohammedanism. Traditions have done much to modify 
the application of the teachings of its sacred book ; differ- 
ences of temperament and casuistry have produced almost 
as many sects and varieties of thought as those which 
have sought to express Christianity, varying from the lit- 
eralism of the Wahabites to the mysticism of the Fati- 
mites and the Persian sects, but wherever it is found its 



SEMITIC SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS INELUENCE 321 

spirit and ideals fall so far short of the highest that the 
best civilization seems impossible under its rule. Its evil 
and its good alike possess elements in common with all 
human good and all human imperfection, but it has some 
imperfections which are peculiarly Semitic. It is a crude 
product of the Semitic religious soil ; it is not wanting in 
noble elements, but the acids of the earlier stages of the 
growth of Semitic religious fruit have not been, as in 
Christianity, ripened out of it. However necessary these 
acids may be to the flavor of the ripened fruit, it is fatal 
to the flavor of that which wilts before it ripens. 

An investigation such as that we have been pursuing 
makes it very clear that Kenan's ^ hypothesis of a primi- 
tive Semitic tendency to monotheism (at least as at first 
presented) can no longer be maintained. If in the reli- 
gious sphere the Semites have anywhere proven them- 
selves worthy teachers of the race, it has not been because 
they had at the first a clearer conception of monotheism 
than others, but because the circumstances of their desert 
and oasis environment led them in their religion to em- 
phasize those functions of life which are most closely 
connected with the growth of moral and religious feel- 
ing in the individual and in the race.^ This emphasis 
led them to practices which were in the early time com- 
paratively innocent, and which embodied in gross forms 
concepts of God which in spiritual form are now the best 
religious possessions of our humanity.^ It was thus 
slowly, through long ages, as the strata of the earth are 

1 Of. Renan's "De la part des peuples s^mitiques " in the Journal 
asiatique, 1859, L^histoire generate, des langues semitique, 3d ed., 1863, 
p. 5 ft., and History of the People of Israel, Vol. I, chs. iii, iv. What 
Renan really claims in the later work is not monotheism, but heno- 
theism, — that each trihe had its own god, but did not deny the reality 
of the gods of other tribes. This position is a true one ; but the road 
from it to monotheism lay through a long development in which tribes 
were welded into nations and the tribal deities were formed into poly- 
theistic pantheons. 

2Cf. above, p. 107 ff. 

» I.e. "God is love," of. p. 107. 



322 SEMITIC ORIGINS 



formed, that by means of this Semitic life and worship a 
religious national character was created to which the high- 
est conceptions could be intrusted for embodiment in 
human life, — in which " the Word could become flesh and 
dwell among us." We need here, as always, to remember 
that " that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is 
natural, and afterward that which is spiritual." 

Matriarchates and polyandry have been developed in 
many parts of the world,i j^y^; nowhere on such a gigantic 
scale as among the Semites ; nowhere else did environ- 
ment so long protect the institution and render its effects 
so permanent ; no other institution of the kind became 
the stock to produce such a noble fruitage ; nor was any 
other so situated geographically as to discharge both its 
sewage and its nectar into the springs from which the civ- 
ilization of our modern life drew its early draughts of in- 
spiration. All this seems to have been permitted in the 
case of the Semites by a wise Providence, who thus pre- 
pared a soil in which the best religious and ethical ideals 
could flourish, and who thus brought out of this cult in 
the end more of good than of evil. 

1 See above, p. 59 ff. 



GENERAL INDEX 



A.bdi-kbeba, wrote letters from Jeru- 
salem, cir. 1400 B.C., 242; complains 
goTernment is being OTertbrown, 
274. 

Abel, Ludwig, 227. 

Abu, meaning both "father" and 
"husband," 68; an early epithet of 
Sin, 201. 

Abyssinia, 8, 25, 29; marriage in, 
48 ff., 66; sycamore sacred in, 89; 
Semitic religion in, 135 ff. ; agricul- 
tural nature of, 138. 

Adapa myth, 264. 

Adar, possibly a name of Ninib, q.v. 

Adonis, Greek name of Tammuz-Esh- 
mun, an epithet, 86, 263; worship 
of, at Gebal, 245 ff., 265; in North 
Africa, 256. 

.S;iian, 37, 253. 

.Xneas, story, a myth of Ashtart cult, 
255, 314 ff. 

^sculapius, a Greek name for Esh- 
mun, 252, 265, 267. 

Afar or Dankali, 10, 25. 

Africa, held to be home of Semites, 
6; of Caucasic race, 7; northern 
part separated from southern, 18; 
from Europe by end of last glacial 
epoch, 19; home of Hamito-Semitic 
stock in north of, 23; Semites 
crossed into, 29; Baal worship in, 
150 fE. ; Ashtart worship in, 253 ff. 

Agade, a city of Babylonia, 162 ; noted 
for its grain, 158; for its dates, 159; 
held hegemony for a time, 163 ; seat 
of worship of Shamash, 212; older 
than Larsa, 213. 

Agriculture, beginnings of, in Pales- 
tine, 146; in Babylonia, 166 ff., 
171 ff. ; individual property in land 
in Babylonia, cir. 6000 B.C., 158 ft. ; 
connection with growth of cities, 
162, 171 ff. ; effect of, on decalogue, 
294 ff. 

Aksum, capital of Semitic kingdom in 
Abyssinia, 135. 



Alashia, El-Amarna letters from, 
thought to be Cyprus, 250. 

Al-Fals, an Arabic god derived by 
epithet from Athtar, 134. 

Al-Galsad, an Arabic god developed 
from Athtar, 134. 

Alilat, Greek name of Al-Lat, 234. 

Allah, God of Islam, developed from 
Semitic mother goddess, 131 ; said 
to have daughters, 235. 

Al-Lat, daughter of Allah, 133 ; mother 
of Dhu-'l-Shara, 133 ; worship at 
Taif, Petra, and Palmyra, etc., 
233 ff. ; goddess of unwedded love, 
234 ; name an epithet, 235. 

Allies, T.N., 317. 

Al-Uqaisir, an Arabic god developed 
from Athtar, 134. 

Al-Uzza, lived in samura trees at 
Nakhla, 88 ; connected with Meccan 
sanctuary, 133, 235 ff. ; daughter of 
Allah, ibid.; companion of Al-Lat, 
234 ; nature and worship of, 235 ff . ; 
an Ishtar (Athtar) , 236 ff. ; mean- 
ing of name, 237. 

Amiaud, Arthur, 185, 186, 187, 189, 190, 
191, 197, 200, 207, 210, 220, 260. 

Ammianus Marcellinus, 47, 56, 61. 

Amorites, old inhabitants of Canaan, 
147. 

Amr b. Kulthum, an Arabian poet, 
62. 

Antarah, an Arabian poet, 56. 

Antiphanes, 251. 

Anu, father of Ban, 191, 196; locality 
of, not known, 195 ; in oldest triad, 
206; origin obscure, 218; head of 
pantheon after Gudea, 219 ; god of 
Der, ibid.; partly an abstraction, 
ibid.; originally a chthonic god of 
fertility, 220; temple of, in Ashur, 
222. 

Anu-banini, king of Lulubi, 200; wor- 
shipped Enlil and Ninlil, 203; sig- 
nificance of name, 220 ; worshipped 
Kamman, 225, 229. 



323 



324 



GENERAL INDEX 



Aphrodite, Greek name of Ashtart, 

249. 
Apollo, a name for Baal in Rhodes, 

252. 

Arabia, cradle of Semites, 4, 24 ff., 
28 ff . ; why Semites entered, 26, 119 ; 
had it forests once? 26; date of 
Semitic occupation, 27 ; physical 
character, 28; low civilization, 32; 
oasis life, 33; poor outside oases, 
71; no fishing in, 74; some hunting, 
ibid.; once better watered? ibid.; 
produced early civilization, 76; 
early religion of, ch. iii. ; Arabia 
Felix, 124; later religion of, 125 ff. ; 
survivals of primitive goddess in, 
233-237. 

Arad-Sin, king of Larsa, 199; wor- 
shipped Ishtar of Khallabi, 260. 

Aramseans, their god, 224 ff. ; their 
goddess, 239 ff. ; in Palestine, 271. 

Arbela, a Semitic city in Assyria, 222 ; 
worship of Ishtar in, 262. 

Ark of Yahwe, 295 ff. 

Arnold, Friedrich August, 62. 

Arnolt, William Muss-, 84, 111, 113, 
209, 222, 223. 

Artemis, an earth goddess, 178; of 
Hittito-Semitic origin, 313. 

Aruru, a name of Ishtar, 257. 

Asher, a clan, 31, 32; tribe of the 
goddess Ashera, 248 ff. ; a god 
Asher, 249; equated with Yahwe, 
ibid. ; an Israelitish tribe, 271. 

Ashera, a post, 106 ; a goddess, 246 ff . ; 
consort of Hadad, 247; in Mesopo- 
tamia, ibid.; name derived from 
pole, 248; pole at Yahwe shrines, 
290 ff; goddess changed to a god, 
249. 

Ashtar-Chemosh, god of Moab, devel- 
oped from Athtar, 141 ff. 

Ashtart, Ashtoreth, Ashtaroth Kar- 
naim, a trans-Jordanic town, 238. 

Ashtart, totemism of, 37; associated 
with water god, 87; goddess at 
Sidon, Tyre, etc., 148 ff.; symbol- 
ized by cow, 201; worshipped at 
Ashtaroth Karnaim, 241 ff. ; at 
Sidon, 243 ff. ; "name of Baal," 
244; patroness of mariners, ibid.; 
identified with moon, ibid.; at 
Tyre, ibid.; at Byblos (Gebal), 
244 ff. ; carried to Mediterranean 
countries, 249 ff. 

Ashtoreth, O.T. name of Ashtart, 148. 



Ashkelon, seat of worship of Ashtart 

and Atargatis, 241 ff. 
Ashur, chief god of the Assyrians, 

221 ff. ; a transformed Ishtar, 

222 ff . ; derivation of name, 223 ; 
folk etymology of, 224, n. 3. 

Ashur, the old capital of Assyria, 221 ; 
a Semitic town, 222. 

Asia Minor, Semitic influence in 
311. 

Assurbanipal, king of Assyria, 154, 
217; repaired temple of Ishtar at 
Erech, 257; worshipped Ishtar at 
Nineveh, 261 ; at Arbela, 262. 

Assurnasirpal, king of Assyria, 154 ; 
exhibits popularity of Ramman, 226, 
n. 2. 

Assyria, dominion of the city Ashur, 
221. 

Astar, chief Semitic deity of Abys- 
sinia, 135; worship carried from 
Arabia, 136 ff. 

Atar, Aramaic name of Ishtar, 239 ff . ; 
nature of, 241. 

Atargatis, origin debated, 238, ff. ; in 
Aramaic, " Atar-'atah," 239; associ- 
ated with Hadad, 239, ff. ; Jensen's 
theory of, 240; a composite deity, 
240, ff. ; nature of, 241, ff ; fish form 
of, 242 ff. 

Athirat, a Minsean goddess, derived 
from 'ashera, 131, 247. 

Athtar, Sabsean god of fertility, 86, 87 ; 
transformed from mother goddess, 
87; called "mother" and "he," 
125 ff; retained features of mother 
goddess, 126 ff. ; localized in differ- 
ent places, 127 ff. ; developed by epi- 
thets into other gods, 128 ff. 

Ati, name of a goddess, probably 
Attis, 239 ff. 

Atonement, Day of, connected with 
Tammuz wailing, 114, 289. 

Attis, a Phrygian goddess, 240; com- 
pounded with Atar in Atargatis, 
240 ff., 313. 

Augustine, 42, 100, 110, 254, 255. 

Ava or Awa, ancient name of Yeha 
in Abyssinia, 135. 

Baal, name applied to well-watered 
land, 105, 127; god of each Palestin- 
ian, Phoenician, and North African 
locality, 148 ff. ; Baal-Ham man, Baal- 
Barith, etc., 148; worshipped on 
hilltops, 151; in Rhodes, 253; Baal- 



GENEEAL INDEX 



325 



Hamman in North Airica, 253 ff . ; in 
Cyprus, 266. 

Babylon, gained hegemony of Baby- 
lonia, cir. 2300 B.C., 163 ; connection 
with Gishgalla, 207 ff. 

Babylonia held to be home of Semites, 
1 ff . ; wrongly, 22 ; civilization of, 
155 ff. ; nature of religion of, 171 ff. 

Baethgen, Friedrich, 141, 144, 239, 240, 
265. 

Ball, C. J., 86, 160, 186, 207. 

Bambyce, also called Hierapolis and 
Mabug, 239, 241, 243. 

Banks, Edgar James, 205, 228. 

Bantu language, not related to Semit- 
ic, 17 ; polyandry of Bantu race, 60. 

Barras, an Abyssinian god, 138 ff. 

Barth, J., 254. 

Basques, 18 ; not related in language 
to Berbers, 19. 

Battersby, G. Harford-, 270, 276, 278. 

Bau, goddess of Uruazagga, 185 ; cult 
of, 189 ff. ; a Semitic goddess, 190 ff. ; 
meaning of name, ibid.; daughter 
of Ann, 191, 196. 

Baudissin, Graf von, 226, 284, 314. 

Baudoin, Jean, 177. 

Bedza language, 10. 

Belin language, 10. 

Belkassen ben Sedira, 10. 

Belser, C, 225. 

Benjamin, a clan, an offshoot of Jo- 
sephites, 271; meaning of name, 
ibid., n. 5. 

Bent, J. Theodore, 25, 49, 89, 112, 135, 
136, 137, 138, 237. 

Benzinger, Immanuel, 68, 99, 115, 296. 

Berbers, a white race, 16; identical 
with Iberian race, etc., 18 ff. ; lan- 
guage of, kindred to Egyptian , 20 ; 
their independent system of writ- 
ing, 20 ff. ; polyandry and date cul- 
ture among, 117. 

Berger, Philippe, 150, 254. 

Berossos, 91. 

Bertholet, A., 85. 

Bertin, G., 6, 22, 76. 

Bezold, Carl, 225, 310. 

Bickell, E., 236. 

Blandford, W. T., 138. 

Bliss, F. J., 137. 

Bloch, A., 254. 

Blunt, Lady Anne, 55, 71, 75. 

Bne-Ebed-Ashera, a clan in the El- 
Amarna period, perhaps same as 
Asher, 32, 246 ff., 248. 



Bokhari, 65, 105. 
Bonavia, E., 90, 93. 
Bonk, Hugo, 282. 
Borelli, Jules, 25. 

Borsippa, suburb of Babylon colo- 
nized from Shirpurla, 210 ff. 
Breasted, J. H., 274. 
Briggs, Charles A., 292. 
Brinton, Daniel G., 6, 7, 13, 16, 18, 23, 

24, 25. 
British polyandry, 61; possibility of, 

among Semites, 69. 
Brockelmann, C, 78. 
Brown, Francis, 226. 
Brown, Robert, Jr., 37, 116, 315. 
Bruce, A. B., 292. 
Brugsch, Heinrich, 10. 
Briinnow, E. E., 113, 160, 182,192, 193, 

194, 196, 201, 207, 211, 215, 218. 
Budde, Karl, 89, 95, 108, 148, 149, 203, 

272, 275, 276, 277, 279, 281, 287, 288, 

291, 292, 295, 297, 298, 299, 301, 303. 
Biihler, Georg, 59. 
Buhl, Franz, 68, 226, 238, 282. 
Bull, as symbol of Athtar and other 

gods, 201 ; of Yahwe, 298. 
Bunini, an attendant of the god Sha- 

mash, 215. 
Bur-Sin, king of Ur, 159; worshipped 

Ramman, 225. 
Byblos, or Gebal, worship of Ashtart 

in, 244 ff. 

Csesar, Julius, 60. 

Camel, helped to destroy the vegeta- 
tion of Arabia, 74; domesticated 
early, 75. 

Cappadocia, Semitic influence in, 311. 

Carpenter, J. Estlin, 270, 276, 278. 

Carthage, chronology of, 122; Ash- 
tart worship in, 255 ff. ; temple of 
Eshmun in, 266, 267. 

Catullus, 315. 

Ceres, a North African name of Ash- 
tart, 255. 

Chamir language, 10. 

Charles, R. H., 89, 95, 121. 

Chemosh, chief god of Moab, 141 ff. 

Cherubim, personification of winds, 
91, 94. 

Cheyne, T. K., 36, 241. 

Christianity, influence and power of, 
319 ff. 

Chronology, of southern and western 
Semites, 122; of Babylonia and 
Assyria, 153, 154 ; grounds of Baby- 



326 



GENERAL INDEX 



Ionian chronology, 155 n.; of He- 
brews, 268. 

Circumcision, originated in primitive 
Islitar worship, 98 fE.; among He- 
brews, 99; among Arabs, ibid.; 
Arabian ceremony of, 100 ; a prepa- 
ration for marriage, 100 ft.; con- 
nected with spring festival, 110; 
among Hamites, 115; native Ha- 
mitic practice, 117 ; in Yahwe wor- 
ship, 280 e. 

Cities, origin of, in Babylonia, 162. 

Civilization, developed in river val- 
leys, 155. 

Clan, organization, 30; among Se- 
mites, 30 ff. ; genesis of, 34 ; eco- 
nomic purpose of, 38 ff. ; age of 
republican clans in Arabia, 71 ff. ; 
two types of Arabian clan, 267 ff. 

Clarke, W. N., 82. 

Clay, A. T., 162. 

Clement of Alexandria, 251, 252. 

Coe, G. A., 107. 

CoUitz, Hermann, 250. 

CoUizza, Giovanni, 10. 

Compound deities, late date of, 141, 
151, 240 ff. 

Conder, C. E., 312. 

Cook, Stanley A., 228. 

Cope, Edward, 170, 204. 

Coptic language, 10. 

Cornill, Carl Heinrich, 270. 

Couard, Ludwig, 296, 297. 

Covenant, religious consequence of 
Yahwe's, 291, 301. 

Cow, significance of, as symbol of Ish- 
tar and Ashtart, 201. 

Cradle of Semites, theories of, 1 ft. ; 
Arabia, 24 ff. 

Crete, Ashtart worship in, 252. 

Croll, James, 14, 15, 19. 

Crum, W. E., 10. 

Cybele, known in North Africa, 255; 
in Phrygia, 313. 

Cyprus, Semitic Baal in, 151 ff. ; wor- 
ship of Ashtart in, 249 ff. ; influence 
of Cypriotic worship on Greece, 252. 

Cyrus, conquered Babylon, 154; did 
he worship Semitic gods ? 310. 

Dagon, a Semitic god in East and 
West, 229 ; in Assyria and Palestine, 
230 ; theories as to origin of, 230 ff . ; 
a transformed goddess, 231 ; proba- 
bly not Aramaean, 232. 

Damkina, goddess, spouse of Ea, 198. 



Dan, Israelitish tribe, 273. 

Dangin, Fran9ois Thureau, 106, 146, 

158, 159, 160, 161, 164, 169, 182, 187, 

198, 199, 207, 218, 220, 225, 261. 
Dankali or Afar, 10, 20, 25. 
Dates, a fruit, 75 ; gathered in Sept.- 

Oct., Ill ff. ; those of Agade famed, 

159 ; house for storage of, 160. 
Davis, John D., 185, 186, 190, 191, 195, 

199. 
Dawkins, Boyd, 18. 
Death, conception of Ufa after, 95 ft. 
Decalogue, the Yahwistic, 110; the 

Mosaic, 292 ff . 
Decharme, P., 314. 
De Goeje, M. J., 5, 24, 88. 
Deissmann, G. Adolf, 285. 
Dekerto, Greek name of Atargatis, 

243. 
Delitzsch, Franz, 283. 
Delitzsch, Friedrich, 97, 103, 160, 163. 

164, 165, 166, 205, 209, 215, 217, 222, 

223, 224, 226, 230, 283, 296. 
Deniker, J., 20. 
Derenbourg, Hartwig and Joseph, 124. 

125, 126. 
Descent, counted through mother, 

51 ff. ; transfer of, to paternal line, 

66; from gods, 130; Ishtar's, to 

lower world, 259. 
Dhu-'l-Khalasa, Arabic god, 134. 
Dhu-'l-Shara, god worshipped with 

Al-Lat by Nabathseans, 233; sou of 

Al-Lat, 234; his worship, 263; a 

Tammuz or Adonis, 267. 
Dido, a name of Tanith, 254 ff. 
Dillmann, August, 275, 283, 292. 
Dilmun, an island in Persian Gulf, 

211. 
Diodorus Siculus, 242, 243, 252, 253. 
Diognetus, Epistle to, 319. 
Dionysios Halic, 315. 
Divorce, among Semites, 45 ff. ; among 

Hebrews, 45; Babylonians, 45 ff.; 

Arabs, 4Bff. 
Dog, as name of a sacred prostitute, 

188, 251, n. 2. 
Doughty, C. M., 17, 28, 32, 39, 47, 51, 

72, 74, 75, 77, 87, 88, 99, 100, 101, 109, 

110, 111, 114, 136, 233. 
Dozy, R., 69. 
Driver, S. R., 3, 102, 103, 104, 141, 146, 

244, 251, 252, 269, 276, 278, 282, 283, 

284, 296. 
Drummond, Henry, 107. 
Dumuzi , same as Tammuz, 263. 



GENERAL INDEX 



327 



Dumuzizuab, goddess of Kinunir, 211 ; 

precursor of Nabu, 212. 
Dungi, kiug of Ur, 153; mentions 

Nina, 188; Ea, 198; Sin, 200; Ner- 

gal, 216 ; worshipped Ishtar of Erecb, 

256. 
Dyer, Louis, 252, 265, 315. 

Ea, a god, pictured as a fish, 91, 196 ff ; 
one of Babylonia's principal deities, 
195; god of Eridu, 196; a trans- 
formed Ishtar, 196 ff. ; god of wis- 
dom, 198 ; member of oldest triad, 
206; said to be Marduk's father, 
209. 

Eabani, story of, 43 ff., 83 ff., 93 S., 
96 ff. ; date of, 44 ; hair like grain, 
218. 

Eannadu I, (Eannatum), king of 
Shirpurla, 153; Eannadu II, Patesi 
of Shirpurla, ibid., and 161; con- 
quered Elam, 180; mentions Ishtar, 
182: Nana, 186; Nina, 188; Ea,198; 
ascribes his victory to Enlil, 206; 
conquered Gishgalla, 207; wor- 
shipped Shamash, 214. 

Ebers, Georg, 101. 

Economy, cause of paternal kinship, 
72; effect on religious conceptions, 
82 ; causes transformation of social 
structure, 120; economic condition 
of south Arabia, 124 ; economic test 
of deities, 179 ff ; its value, 221 ; 
economic transformation of Yahwe 
worship, 291 ff. 

Eden, meaning of Biblical narrative 
of , 43 ff . , 93 ff . ; origin and develop- 
ment of idea, 96 n. ; meaning of ex- 
pulsion from, 97 ff. 

Edom, the country, 32; name of Baal 
among Edomites, 152; Al-Lat wor- 
shipped in, 233 ff. 

Egypt, language of, 10; did not con- 
quer Berbers, 20; nor influence 
Babylonian religious conceptions, 
169. 

Elam, conquered by Eannadu, 180; 
conquered south Babylonia, 257; 
Semitic influence on, 310. 

Elijah, work of, 300. 

Enki (Ea), a principal Babylonian 
god, 195. 

Enlil (Bel), god of Nippur and chief 
deity of Babylonia, 163, 195; called 
king of countries, 183; superior to 
gods of Shirpurla, 185; father of 



Sin, 202; originally a Snmerian 
god, 204; Semitic element in, 204 ff. ; 
member of oldest triad, 206. 

Enshagkushanna, lord of Sumir, 153; 
devoted spoil to Enlil, 202, 206. 

Entemena, Patesi of Shirpurla, 153, 
160; built house for storage of 
dates, 160; mentions Nana, 186; 
Nina, 188; Ea, 198. 

Enzu, a name of the god Sin, 199; 
meaning of, 201. 

Ephraem, the Syrian, 42, 100, 110, 234. 

Ephraim, a Josephite clan, 271. 

Epiphanius, 233, 234, 263. 

Epping, J., 106. 

Erech, a city of Babylonia, 162 ; Lu- 
galzaggisj, its king, 146, 153; held 
Babylonian hegemony at various 
times, 163; Ishtar cult in, 256 ff.; 
form of, 259. 

Eridu, one of the oldest Babylonian 
cities, 162 ; held hegemony in Baby- 
lonia at various times, 163; oldest 
Semitic settlement, 196 ff . ; seat of 
a prehistoric empire, 198. 

Erim, a section of Shirpurla, 183, 185; 
wrongly called Gishgalla, 185, 207; 
shown by its goddess to be Semitic, 
186 ff., 192 ; a colony of Ur, 200. 

Erman, Adolf, 8, 9, 10, 20, 25, 26. 

Erua, another name of Dumuzizuab 
or Tashmit, 212, n. 4. 

Eryx, seat of Ashtart worship in 
Sicily, 252. 

Eshmun, a name of Tammuz, 92; at 
Tyre, 244; reasons for identification 
with Tammuz, 265 ff. ; possible ety- 
mology of, 267, n. 2. 

Eshmunazer II, king of Sidon, 122; 
priest of Ashtart, 243; built her 
temple, 244 n. 

Eth-Baal, king of Tyre and priest of 
Ashtart, 244. 

Ethiopic language, 10. 

Euphrates, overflow of, 156 ff. 

Eusebius, 37, 150, 230, 238, 244. 

Euting, J., 69, 70, 75, 77. 

Ezana, royal author of inscription 
from Aksum, 138. 

Family, Semitic, 39 ff. ; of primitive 
man, 41 ff. ; effect of temporary 
marriage upon, 49 ff. 

Farnell, Lewis Richard, 178, 255, 314, 
315, 316. 

Father, not known in Thibetan poly- 



328 



GENERAIi INDEX 



andry, 68; head of Arabian family 
by time of prophet, 123; Athtar a 
father, 124 ; father and mother com- 
bined in one deity, 205; spiritual 
conception of fatherhood of Yahwe, 
306 ff. 

Feasts, number and character of, 
108 S. ; in Nisan, 108 ff . ; sacrifices 
and lewd ceremonies at, 110; date 
festival in autumn. 111; feast of 
Mascal in Abyssinia, 112, 137 ; feast 
of Tammuz, 112 ft.; agricultural 
feasts in Babylonia and Palestine, 
114, 288 ff. ; two feasts primitive, 
115; feast of Bau, 190; of Adonis 
at Gebal, 245 ff. ; spring feast at 
Paphos, 251; of Tanith in North 
Africa, 254; of Yahwe, 281 ff., 287 ff. 

Fell, W., 86, 87, 128, 129. 

Fischer, Theobald, 75, 76, 79, 98, 161, 
171. 

Fishing, no important part of Arabian 
life, 74; at Eridu, 196 ff.; at Ashke- 
lon, 242 ff. 

Fiske, John, 14, 18, 107. 

Frazer, J. G., 85, 114, 179. 

Frey, J., 120. 

Frost, John, 173, 175. 

Gabelenz, Graf von der, 18, 19. 

Gad, a clan, 271; in east-Jordanic 
country, 273. 

Gad, god of the tribe Gad, 249 ; Tam- 
muz wailing in cult of, 289. 

Galalama, Patesi of Shirpurla, 190. 

Galla language, 10. 

Gallas, the, 25, 115. 

Game, in Arabia, 74. 

Gamil-Sin, king of Ur, 159. 

Gatumdug, an epithet of Bau,. some- 
times treated as a separate goddess, 
191 ; once an epithet of Nana, 191, n. 
6 and 260. 

Gebal, a Phoenician city and seat of 
Ashtart worship, 244. 

Geiger, Abraham, 132. 

Garland, A. A., 6, 12, 13, 15, 16, 25. 

Gesenius, Wilhelm, 36, 226, 282, 284. 

Ghabghab, a rivulet or trench at 
Mecca, 235. 

Ghillany, R., 275. 

Giddings, Franklin H., 13, 14, 33, 34, 
40, 41, 49, 50, 53, 55, 60, 63, 73, 
77. 

Gillett, C. R., 317. 

Girsu, one of the districts of Shirpurla, 



185; a Semitic settlement, 192, 194; 
name interpreted as " body lance," 
192, n. 1 ; oldest settlement of Shir- 
purla, 194 ; seat of original kingdom, 
ibid. ; contained a district Kinunir, 
210 ff. 

Gishban, an old Babylonian town 
conquered by Eannadu, 206; situa- 
tion and religion of, 218. 

Gishgalla, a south Babylonian town 
of which Babylon was possibly a 
colony, 207 ff. 

Glacial epoch, causes of, 14. 

Glaser, Eduard, 64, 124, 125, 135, 136, 
227. 

Goat, destructive of Arabian vegeta- 
tion, 74; domesticated early, 75. 

Goddesses, the earliest Semitic deities, 
120, 179 ff. ; natural agricultural 
deities, 199; transformed by war, 
180 ff. 

Golenischeff, M., 124. 

Gottheil, Richard, J. H., 239. 

Grassarie, M. de la, 308. 

Gray, G. Buchanan, 282. 

Gray, Louis, 310. 

Greece, goddesses of, 178; Semitic in- 
fluence upon, 315 ff. ; corruption of 
society in, 316. 

Griineisen, Carl, 95, 121. 

Gudea, Patesi of Shirpurla, 153 ; sacri- 
fices offered to his statue, 168 ; wor- 
shipped Nana, 183, 184, 186; Nina, 
188; Bau, 189, 190, 192, 199; called 
Shirpurla a city, 207; mentions 
Khallabi, 260. 

Gudua, another name for Kutu (Ku- 
tha),215. 

Guidi, Ignazio, 1, 2, 22, 75, n. 4. 

Gula, an epithet of Ban, became god- 
dess of healing, 191. 

Gummere, F. B., 179. 

Gunkel, Hermann, 98. 

Guthe, Hermann, 270, 275. 

Guti, a god of the Guti, 217 ff. 

Guti or Suti, a people, 37, 199; their 
religion, 217. 

Guyard, Stanislaus, 164. 

Haarbriicker, Theodor, 99. 

Hadad, Aramaean equivalent of Ram- 
man, 224; equated with R., 226; 
worshipped in Damascus, ibid. ; 
name means "thunderer," ibid.; 
calledRimmon, 227; diffusion of wor- 
ship, ibid.; a god of fertility, 228; a 



GENERAL INDEX 



329 



transformed Ishtar, 229; Atargatis 

worshipped with him, 239 ff. 
Haeckel, Ernst, 13, 16. 
Hal^vy, Joseph, 31, 64, 86, 130, 131, 135, 

164, 165, 209, 227. 
Hamilton, an English traveller, 48. 
Hamites, language of, kindred to 

Semitic, 9 ff.; blonds among, 17; 

form one stock with Semites, 20; 

records of, go back to dawn of his- 
tory, ibid. ; home in North Africa, 

21 ; totemistic, 37 ; passed savagery 

when Semites separated from, 73; 

polyandrous, 74 ; institutions of, 115 

ff. ; civilization derived from oases, 

118. 
Harding, E. E., 108. 
Harith, an Arabian poet, 56. 
Harnack, Adolf, 317. 
. Harran, a seat of the worship of the 

moon god, 202. 
Hasa, a region in Arabia, 57. 
Haupt, Paul, 36, 43, 83, 85, 91, 96, 97, 

103, 113, 165, 168, 183, 184, 200, 214, 

218, 257, 258, 259. 
Heber, a clan of Asher, 31, 274. 
Hebrews, beginnings of the nation, 

270 ff. ; proposed identification with 

the Khabiri, 274. 
Hegra, an Arabian seat of the worship 

of Al-Lat, 234. 
Hehn, Victor, 75, 76, 161. 
Heracles, a Greek name of Baal, 265 ff. 
Herodotus, 42, 43, 99, 100, 101, 117, 

210, 234, 242, 252, 258, 263, 314, 316. 
Heuzey, Leon, editor of De Sarzec's 

D^couvertes en Chaldie, see De 

Sarzec. 
Hierapolis, also called Bambyce and 

Mabug, 239, 241, 243. 
Hilderbrand, Richard, 59, 60, 72, 73, 

77, 119, 146. 
Hilprecht, Hermann, V., 146, 162, 166, 

180, 181, 197, 198, 200, 202, 203, 204, 

213, 217, 219, 220, 225. 
Hiram, king of Tyre, 122, 244. 
Hittites, in northern Syria before 

Egyptian conquest, 147 ; civilization 

and language of, 311 ff. ; Semitic 

influence on, 312 ff. ; supposed ori- 
gin, 313. 
Hoffman, E. A., archaic tablet of, 
158 ff. ; 161, 213; translation of, 213, 
n. 5. 
Hoffmann, Georg, 104, 141, 226, 248, 
253, 254. 



Holmes, William H., 14. 

Holzinger, H., 275, 285. 

Hommel, Fritz, 1, 3, 21, 22, 76, 106, 

124, 131, 185, 207, 208, 211, 223, 247, 

249, 274, 283. 
Hopkins, E. Washburn, 59, 296. 
Hubal, a pre-Islamic name of Allah, 

134. 
Hull, Edward, 139. 
Human life, where first appeared, 

12 ff. 
Hunting in Arabia, 74. 
Hurgronje, C. Snouck, 48, 100, 236. 
Husband, living in wife's tribe, 54 ff. 

Ibu-al-Kalbi, 235. 

Ibn-Hisham, 88, 235, 236. 

Ibn-Kutaiba, 233. 

Idalion, a seat of Ashtart worship in 
Cyprus, 266. 

Ihering, Rudolf von, 171. 

Il-Azza, a Sabbaean god, 237, n. 4. 

Iliad, 249, 250. 

Ilmaqqabu, a form of Athtar, 87, 
128 ff. ; god of 'Amran, 128. 

Immeru, a name of Ramman, 225. 

Immortality, Semitic ideas of, 95 ff. 

Imr-ul-Kais, 62. 

lolaos, a Greek name of Eshmun, 
265 ff. 

Isaac of Antioch, 236. 

Isaf, a Meccan god, absorbed in Allah, 
133. 

Ishmi-Dagan, a king of Isin, 257. 

Ishtar, totemism of, 37; cult of, in 
Semitic world, 42; connection with 
Eabani, 43 ; cult found, 83 ; a 
survival from primitive conditions, 
84; impure priestesses of, ibid.; 
connection with desire, ibid.; a 
water goddess, 86, 92 ff. ; connected 
with the palm, 92 ff., 98; with cir- 
cumcision, 98; etymology of, 102 ff. ; 
goddess of oases, 105 ff. ; at Kish, 
181 ff. ; at Susa, 184 ff. ; goddess 
of Erim, 185 ff.; of Khallabi, 190, 
260 ff. ; symbolized by cow, 201 ; at 
Agade, 213; maintained identity 
there, 215; among the Guti, 217 ff. ; 
coupled with Ashur in Assyria, 
221 ff., 224; survivals of, chap, vi; 
at Erech, 256 ff. ; daughter of Anu, 
259. 

Isin, a Babylonian city which for a 
time held the hegemony, 163, 257. 

Isis, Egyptian earth goddess, 116. 



330 



GENERAL INDEX 



Islam, heathen basis of, 131 ff. ; influ- 
ence of, 320 ff. 

Israel, beginnings of the nation, 
270 ff , ; early disorganized condi- 
tion, 273 ; stele of, 274 ff. 

Issachar, a clan, 271. 

Jackson, A. V. W., 310. 
Jacob-el, a place in Palestine, 274 ff. 
Jacobs, Mr., 35, 36. 
Jacut, see Yaqut. 

Jastrow, Morris, 7, 23, 37, 43, 44, 83, 
86, 91, 93, 97, 98, 109, 111, 112, 156, 

163, 190, 191, 195, 199, 200, 203, 209, 
212, 213, 215, 216, 217, 219, 220, 223, 
224, 225, 226, 228, 231, 232, 257, 258, 

259, 264, 272, 274, 284, 295, 312, 313. 
Jehovah, see Yahwe. 

Jensen, Peter, 43, 83 ff., 85, 103, 106, 
183, 185, 187, 197, 209, 210, 211, 212, 
216, 217, 224, 230, 231, 240, 246, 259, 

260, 264, 310, 311, 312, 313. 
Jeremias, Alfred, 43, 84, 85, 95, 112, 

164, 195, 264, 266. 
Jerome, 144, 234, 238. 

Jesus Christ, effect of His teaching on 
the conception of God, 303. 

Jethro, priest of Yahwe in Midian, 
272; initiated Moses into Yahwe 
cult, 276 ff. 

Jinn, as partners with God, 36. 

Johnson, F. E., 62. 

Jolly, Julius, 59. 

Joseph, a clan, 271; In Egypt, 272; 
delivered by Yahwe, ibid. ; entered 
Palestine, 273; name as name of 
Palestinian place, 274 ff. ; Moses 
mediated covenant for, 276. 

Josephus, Flavius, 37, 99, 230, 244. 

Judah, a tribe, 271 ; Aramaic element 
in, 272, n. 4, 273; absorbed the Ken- 
ites, 277 ff. ; knowledge of Yahwe 
immemorial among, 278; union of 
Tamar with, 286. 

Judaism, influence of, 318. 

Justin, 255. 

Kabyle language, 10. 

Karaiudash, king of Babylon, 257. 

Karnaim, shortened name of Ashta- 
roth Karnaim, 238. 

Keane, A. H., 7, 13, 15, 16, 18. 

Keasbey, Lindley M., 30, 33, 39, 280. 

Kengi, a name of Sumir, 202. 

Kenites, a Sinaitio clan, 272; incor- 
porated in Judah, 273, 277 ff. ; cham- 



pions of Yahwe, 277 ; connected with 
Midianites, 277; David said to be 
descended from, 278, n. 2; perhaps 
extended influence to Hamath, 284. 

Kent, Charles Foster, 270. 

Kiabiri in the El-Amarna letters, 274. 

Khallabi, a colony of Erim, 199; seat 
of the worship of Ishtar, 260 ff . 

Khammurabi, king of Babylon, 153, 
165, 198; worshipper of Marduk, 
209; suppressed worship of Nabu, 
212; repaired temple of Shamash at 
Larsa, 212; at Agade, 214; wor- 
shipped Bamman, 225; Dagon, 229; 
knew goddess Ashera, 247; wor- 
shipped Ishtar of Khallabi, 260. 

Khumbaba, god of Elam, genesis of, 
184, n. 3. 

King, L. W., 202, 209, 212, 213, 223, 247. 

Kinnir or Kiununir, a part of Glrsu 
and an old name of Borsippa, 210 ff . 

Kinship, method of reckoning, 50 ff. ; 
through females, 51 ff. ; of Joseph's 
sons, 52; of Abraham and Sarah, 
ibid. ; among Mandseans, Babyloni- 
ans, and Hebrews, 53; of Jacob's 
children, 54; through father, 71 ff. ; 
in Moab, 140 ff.; in Palestine, 146; 
in Babylonia, 159. 

Kish, a Babylonian kingdom, 180 ; re- 
ligion of, 181 ff . ; conquered by Ean- 
nadu, 186 ff. ; by Enshagkushanna, 
202 ; colonies in Elam, 310. 

Kition, seat of worship of Ashtart in 
Cyprus, 250 ff . ; Eshmun worshipped 
at, 266. 

Kittel, Rudolf, 93, 275, 292. 

Koraish, a Meccan tribe to which 
Mohammed belonged, 235. 

Kremer, von, 1, 2, 22, 75, n. 4. 

Kuenen, Abraham, 270, 276, 278, 284, 
292. 

Kutha (Kutu), an old Babylonian 
city, 102 ; Nergal, deity of, 215. 

Labid, an Arabian poet, 56. 

Lagash, a name of Shirpurla, 184. 

Lake dwellers of Switzerland, 16, 17. 

Lane, Edward William, 47, 104, 105. 

Larsa, a Babylonian city, held hege- 
mony for a time, 163, 199 ; a seat of 
Shamash worship, 212 ff. 

Lasirab, king of Guti, 199. 

Law, genesis of Pentateuchal, 303 ff. 

Le Clerc, 282, 284. 

Legarde, Paul de la, 104, 243, 267, 284. 



GENERAL INDEX 



331 



Lehmann, C. F., 155, 156, 165, 168. 

Lenormaut, Fran9ois, 86, 92, 196, 197, 
284. 

Lepsias, the Egyptologist, 25. 

Leto, a name of Attis, 313. 

Lfitourneau, Ch. , 66, 67. 

Leuba, James H., 107. 

Levi, a tribe, 271 ; tlieory of origin, 
272. 

Levirate, connection with polyandry, 
66 ff. 

Libit-Ishtar, king of Isin, 256. 

Lidzbarski, Mark, 203, 228, 239, 255, 
272. 

Lubbock, Sir John, 15, 40. 

Lucian, 43, 85, 86, 100, 112, 113, 239, 
240, 241, 244, 245, 265, 314. 

Lugal-Erim, name of a masculinized 
Ishtar at Shirpnrla, 183, 187. 

Lugaltarsi, a king of Kish, 153; in- 
scription of, 181, 187, n. 2, 205. 

Lugalzaggisi, king of Erech, 153; 
reached Mediterranean, 146, 271; 
tendency to deification of, 168 ; men- 
tioned Nana, 186; Ea, 198; son 
reared by Nidaba, 218; worshipped 
Ishtar, 256 ff. 

Lulubi, an old Babylonian state, 200, 
203, 220. 

Lydus, Johannes, 109, 250, 251. 

Mabug, a town in Lebanon otherwise 

called Hierapolis and Bambyce, q.v. 
McAllister, Alexander, 99, 101. 
McCurdy, J. F., 163, 164, 165. 
McGee, W. J., 170, n 4. 
McLennan, John F., 39, 40, 41, 69, 60, 

66,67. 
Macrobius, 178, 239, 240, 241, 262, 265, 

284. 
Ma' in, an ancient city and kingdon in 

south Arabia, 124 ; gods of, 130 ff. ; 

influence on Keuites, 272. 
Malik, an attendant of the god Sha^ 

mash, 215. 
Malkatu, consort of Shamash of Agade, 

214. 
Malkiel, a clan, 31. 
Mama, an epithet of Bau, 191, n. 1. 
Man, first habitat of, 12 ff. ; antiquity 

of, 14 ff. ; effect of natural selection 

on mind of, 15 ff. 
Manasseh, a Josephite clan, 271. 
Manishtu-irba, king of Kish, 184. 
Manutu, a Nabathsean god, 233. 
Marduk, god of Babylon who displaced 



Enlil, 163, 207, 209; a Semitic god, 
208 ff. ; absorbed myths of Nabu, 
209 ; name derived from sun, 209. 

Margoliouth, G., 283, 284. 

Marriage, Semitic, 41 ff. ; temporary, 
45 ff; in Sunan, 48; in Mecca, 48; 
in Abyssinia, 48 ff. ; residence of 
wife during, 50 fl. ; of Abraham, 52 ; 
of Amnon and Tamar, 52 ; of Tab- 
nith, 52 ; interruption of, 55 ; beena 
marriage, 55; in Ma'allak&t poems, 
56; of Samson, 56; mot'a marriage, 
61 ; rise of endogamy, 62 ff. ; for 
certain days of the week, 63; by 
capture, 71 ff. 

Marti, Karl, 283. 

Martial, 251. 

Maspe'ro, G., 38, 74, 115, 116, 117. 

Massaba, phallic symbol of deity, 102 ; 
found in Abyssinia, 136; altars at 
bases of, 137 ; a part of Yahwe cult, 
290 ff. 

Mayer, Brantz, 173, 175. 

Mecca, marriage in, 48; change of 
heathenism to Islam at, 132 ff. 

Mediterranean, changes in level of, 17 ; 
race of, 18 ; shore of, home of Semitic 
stock, 21, 24. 

Medr, an Abyssinian god, 138 ff. 

Meissner, Bruno, 68, 158. 

Melqart, god of Tyre, 149 ; developed 
from Ashtart, 150, 244; Eshmun 
called, 267. 

Menephtah, stele of, 274 ff. 

Merx, Victor, 58. 

Mesha, king of Moab, 140, 143. 

Mesopotamia, held to be cradle of 
Semites, 3 ff . ; civilization of, 155 ff. 

Messerschmidt, L., 311, 312, 313, 314. 

Mexico, civilization and religion of, 
172 ff. 

Meyer, Ed., 147, 163. 

Midianites, connected with Kenites, 
277. 

Migne, Jacques Paul, 237. 

Mill, Hugh Robert, 118, 155. 

Moab, physical conditions of, 139; a 
land of pastures, 139 ff. ; language 
of kindred to Hebrew, 140; society 
of patriarchal, 140 ff.; religion of, 
141 ff. 

Mohammed, introduced into Islam 
many spiritual elements, 131; 
erected them on substratum of hea- 
thenism, 1.32 ff. 

Mohammedanism, influence of, 320 ff. 



332 



GENERAL INDEX 



Monastlcism, a reaction from Semitic 
corruption, 317 ff. 

Monogamy, temporary, in early times, 
45 ff. 

Monotheism, development of, 307 ff. ; 
not primitive, 321. 

Monro, Robert, 16. 

Moore, George F., 89, 103, 141, 143, 
148, 230, 238, 247, 248, 289, 293. 

Mordtmaun, J. H., 124, 126, 127, 128, 
130, 138. 

Morgan, J. de, 8, 20, 26, 310. 

Mosaism, moral content of, 292 ff. 

Moses, circumcision of , 99, 280; flight 
from Egypt, 272 ; mediated covenant 
with Yahwe, 275 ; a zealot for primi- 
tive Yah we worship, 290 ; connection 
with Jewish law, 303 ff. 

Mother, descent reckoned through, 
51 ff. ; mother goddess the primitive 
Semitic deity, ch. iii; transformed 
into masculine deities, chs. iv, v; in 
Arabia, Palestine and Africa, ch. iv ; 
in Babylonia and Assyria, ch. v; 
not lost in transformation, 129 ff. 
and ch. vi ; mother and father com- 
bined in one deity, 205. 

Moulton, W. J., 281. 

Movers, F. C, 284. 

Mugheir, modern name of TJr, 199, 
201. 

MuUer, D. H., 124, 129, 135, 136, 138, 
139. 

Miiller, F. Max, 116, 227. 

Miiller, Friedrich, 10, 11, 12, 17, 24. 

Miiller, Karl, 317. 

Muller, W. Max, 8, 9, 118, 146, 231, 
237, 242, 248, 274, 284. 

Mysticism, sexual aspects of, 308. 

Myths, as a clew to origins, 195 ff. 

Nabathaeans, an Arabic tribe, 263. 
Nabonidos, neo-Babylonian king, 154 ; 

worshipped Shamash at Agade, 216. 
Nabu, god of Borsippa, 210 ; a Semitic 

god, 211 ; said to be son of Ea, 212. 
Nabu-apal-iddin, king of Babylon, 154, 

215. 
Naila, a Meccan goddess, spouse of 

Isaf , 133. 
Nairs, 40, 69 ff. ; Nair polyandry, 61, 

63 ff. ; relation to Thibetan, 69 ff. 
Nakhla, valley southwest of Mecca, 

seat of Al-Uzza worship, 236. 
Nana, a name of Ishtar at Kish, 

181 ff. ; etymology of, 182 ; goddess 



of Erim, 185; a Semitic 

186 ff.; of Khallabi, 199, 260 ff.; 

applied to Ishtar at Erech, 256 ff. 

Naphtali, a Hebrew clan, 273. 

Naram-Sin, king of Agade, 153 ; date 
of, 166, 159; called " god," 168, 199. 

Nasamones, a branch of Berber 
Hamites, 117. 

Nasr, Arabic vulture god, 36. 

Nebuchadnezzar I, king of Babylon, 
cir. 1130 B.C., 154, 219. 

Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon, 
604-562 B.C., 154; repaired temple 
of Ishtar at Erech, 257. 

Nejd, a region in central Arabia, 4. 

Nergal, god of Kutu or Kutha, 215; 
later, god of underworld, 216; ori- 
gin of, 216 ff . ; a Sumerian god, 217 ; 
worship in Palestine, Phoenicia, and 
Athens, 217, n. 2. 

Nestle, E., 284. 

Neubaur, A., 230. 

Neumahr, Melchior, 18. 

Nidaba, the grain god of Gishgalla,218. 

Nina, goddess of the city Nina, 185; 
a Semitic goddess, 187 ff. ; cult of, 
188 ff. ; picture of, 189; daughter of 
Ea, 195. 

NinS., one of the districts of Shirpurla, 
185 ; a Semitic settlement, 192 ; col- 
ony of Eridu, 198, 200. 

Ninagidkhadu, a name of Ishtar of 
Erech, 256. 

Nineveh, capital city of Assyria, 261 ; 
name written by same ideogram as 
Nina, 187, 261 ; a Semitic town, 222 ; 
Ishtar goddess of, 261. 

Ningirsu, god of Girsu, 185 ; husband 
of Ban, 191; origin of, 191 ff.; 
"king" and "warrior" of Enlil, 
191, n. 7, 196, 202; connected with 
Tammuz, 193; developed Ishtar, 
193 ff. ; became a sun god, 194. 

Ningishzida, deity developed from 
Bau-Ishtar, 190; coordinate with 
Tammuz, 264. 

Ninib, another name for Ningirsu, q.v. 

Ninkharsag, originally an Ishtar, 186. 

Ninlil, spouse of Enlil, 203. 

Ninmar, a goddess, daughter of Nin^, 
188. 

Nippur, one of the oldest Babylonian 
cities, 162; first held hegemony in 
Babylonia, 163; antiquity of, 202; 
Sumerian foundation," 204; some 
Semitic elements, 204 ff. 



GENEBAX INDEX 



833 



Noldeke, Theodor, 3, 6, 22, 44, 53, 88, 
227, 278. 

Nowack, Wilhelm, 85, 93, 99, 115, 238, 
296. 

Numerals, Hamitic and Semitic alike, 
9 ; the decimal system, 170 ; Sume- 
rian system sexagesimal, ibid. 

Nusku, Assyrian fire god, origin un- 
certain, 232, u. 2. 

Cannes, Berossos's name for Ea, 196. 

Oasis, centre of Arabian life, 33, 39; 
Arabian life bound up in, 71; proto- 
type of Eden, 96, n. ; sacred tracts, 
112; In North Africa, 117; signifi- 
cance of, in Semitic religion, 179 ff. 

Odyssey, 249. 

Oehler, 6. F., 283. 

Oman, women of, 44, 57. 

Oppert, Jules, 158, 210, 225. 

Osiris, water god of Egypt, 116. 

Ovid, 242. 

Ox, symbol of Sin, significance of, 
201. 

Palestine, physical features of, 144; 
produce of, 145; conquest of, by 
Semites, 146. 

Palgrave, William Gifford, 6, 17, 44, 
47, 57, 74, 75, 77. 

Palm, date, cultivated in Arabian 
oases, 33, 39; extent in prehistoric 
time, 75 ; in Arabia, 75, n. 4 ; names 
of, in Semitic languages, 76 ; primi- 
tive name, ibid. ; importance to 
Arabian and primitive Semitic life, 
77 ff. ; cultivation of, 78 ; sexes of, 
recognized, ibid. ; gives name to a 
sacred place, 79, 126 fE.; connected 
by Semites with knowledge of hu- 
man sexuality, 79, 91; sacred in 
Arabia, 88; Israel, 89 ff., Bab., 90fE., 
159 ff. ; artificial fertilization of, 91, 
161 ff. ; significance of, in Gen., 

92 ff. ; tree of knowledge and life, 

93 ff.; Arabic poem on, 95; etymol- 
ogy of Ishtar connected with, 104 if . ; 
in Egypt, 117, 118 ; at basis of Ham- 
ito-Semitic culture, 119; picture of, 
in Babylonian writing, 160; neces- 
sity made oasis countries earliest 
seat of its culture, 162 ; a palm or- 
chard in Babylonia, ibid. ; palm in 
Semitic religion, 179 ff. ; sacred 
palm at Eridu, 197 ; at Nakhla, 236 ; 
among the Kenites, 285; at Sinai, 



ibid. ,' a totem in a Judahite clan, 
286 ; connection with Yahwe, 286 ff. 

Palmyra, an oasis 150 miles northeast 
of Damascus, 232 ; Al-Lat and Sha- 
mash worshipped there, 234 ff. 

Paphos, seat of worship of Ashtart in 
Cyprus, 249 ff . 

Passover, a festival, 108 ff. ; nomadic 
festival, 109; festival of Yahwe, 
281 ff. 

Paulitschke, Philipp, 21, 55. 

Pausanias, 250, 253, 266, 267, 313, 314, 
315, 316, 317. 

Payne, Edward John, 14, 39, 157, 162, 
172, 173, 175, 176, 177. 

Peake, Arthur S., 141. 

Peiser, F. E., 46, 53, 219, 311. 

Perrot and Chipiez, 173. 

Persians, Semitic influence on, 310 ff. 

Peru, civilization and religion of, 
175 ff. 

Peschel, Oscar, 12, 13, 16. 

Petermann, A., 75, 79, 98, 161, 171. 

Peters, John P., 156, 199, 204, 292. 

Petra, capital of Edom, seat of the 
worship of Al-Lat, 233 ff. 

Petrie, W. M. Flinders, 274. 

Philistines, origin of .uncertain, 231,n. 6. 

Philo of Byblos (Gebal), 37, 150, 231. 

Philostorgius, 99. 

Phoenicia, beginnings of its religion, 
149; goddesses in, 243 ff. 

Piepenbring, Charles, 281, 284, 291. 

Pietschmann, Richard, 93, 112, 245. 

Pinches, T. G., 184. 

Pindar, 314. 

Pithecanthropus erectus, 13. 

Pliny, 239. 

Polyandry, 30, 39 ff. ; not universal, 
40 ff. ; theory of, 52 ff. ; did Semites 
practise? 59 ff.; in India,, ibid. ; in 
Thibet, ibid. ; among Britons, 60; 
in many parts of the world, ibid.; 
causes of, ibid.; Semitic, 62 ff.; 
combined with polygamy, 63; Thi- 
betan displaces Nair, 65 ff., 69 ff. ; 
began before Semitic dispersion, 68 ; 
imposed restraints on men, 72 ; not 
found in lowest social develop- 
ments, 72 ff. ; among Hamites, 74, 
115 ff. ; among Nasamones, 117 ; 
effects of Semitic, 322. 

Polybius, 253, 266. 

Polygamy, 40 ff. ; mingled with poly- 
andry, 61 ff. ; among the rich in 
agricultural countries, 171 ff. 



334 



GENERAL INDEX 



Prescott, William, 175, 176, 177. 
Prestwich, Joseph, 156. 
Price, Ira M., 164, 185, 186, 188. 
Pronouns of Hamitic and Semitic 

alike, 9. 
Ptolemy, Claudius, 32. 

Qa'aba, sanctuary of Allah at Mecca, 
132 ff . ; originally a heathen shrine, 
ibid. ; Al-Uzza worshipped at, 235 ff. 

Qazwini, an Arabic writer, 78. 

Quatrefages de Bre'au, Jean A. de, 13, 
14. 

Kaces, origin of white, 15 ff. ; divi- 
sions of, 16 ; Mediterranean, 18. 

Eadau, Hugo, 157, 158, 160, 161, 163, 
166, 167, 168, 169, 180, 181, 182, 184, 
186, 187, 188, 189, 192, 197, 198, 199, 
200, 202, 205, 211, 213, 214, 217, 220, 
225, 229, 251, 256. 

Bamman, temple of, in Ashur, 222; 
in prehistoric time, 226; extent of 
his worship, 224; worshipped by 
Anu-banini, etc., 225; member of 
second triad, ibid.; name means 
"thunderer," 226; a god of fertil- 
ity, 228 ; a transformed Ishtar, 229 ; 
an ox, 228, u. 7. 

Eamsay, William M., 312, 313, 314. 

Eatzel, Friedrich, 12, 24, 25. 

Eawlinson, George, 156. 

Eeclus, Elie, 40, 59, 61, 124, 125. 

Eeinisch, Leo, 48, 55, 100. 

Eeisner, George A., 31, 106, 157, 158, 
165, 205, 228, 246. 

Eenan, Ernst, 321. 

Eeubenites, 271; in Egypt, 272. 

E(!ville, Albert, 148, 173, 174, 177. 

Ehea, a Phrygian goddess, same as 
Attis, 313. 

Ehodes, Ashtart worship in, 252. 

Eibeiro, a geologist, 14. 

Richter, Max Ohnefalse, 87, 252. 

Eidpath, John Clark, 13, 15, 25. 

Eipley, William Z., 7, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. 

Eitter, Carl, 78. 

Robertson, T., 275,292. 

Eobinson, George L., 152. 

Eogers, Robert W., 156, 163, 192, 199, 
202, 217, 220. 

Rome, mother goddess in, 178; Ash- 
tart worship in, 253. 

Eouvier, Jules, 230. 

Sabsea, economic condition of, 124; 



kingdom of, succeeded Ma'in, ibid. ; 
probably had a precursor in north 
Arabia, 125. 

Sacy, S. de, 79. 

Sahara, once submerged, 18. 

Saho language, 10. 

Sale, George, 39. 

Salkhad, a seat of the worship of Al- 
Lat, 233. 

Samura, name of a tree at Nakhla, 
236. 

Sargon,kingof Agade,153; conquered 
Amorites, 146; father of Naram-Sin, 
155; deified, 168; worshipped Sha- 
mash and Ishtar, 213. 

Sarpanit, goddess of Babylon, spouse 
of Marduk, 207 ; name derived from 
sun, 209; a reflection of Marduk, 
210. 

Sarzec, Ernest de, 160, 180, 183, 184, 
186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 191, 192, 193, 
198, 207, 210, 211, 214, 218, 220, 260, 
261. 

Sayce, A. H., 4, 24, 102, 106, 118, 196, 
197, 209, 211, 228, 232, 283. 

Schaff, Philip, 317. 

Soheil, v., 156, 181, 183, 184, 196, 201, 
310. 

Schmidt, Nathaniel, 8, 25, 272. 

Schrader, Eb., 5, 28, 29, 43, 90, 102, 
106, 146, 168, 214, 229, 230, 284, 285. 

Schultz, H., 284. 

Schiirer, Emile, 318. 

Schwally, Friedrich, 95, 121. 

Semiramis in myth of Dekerto-Atar- 
gatis, 243. 

Semites, theories of cradle land, 1 ff. ; 
relation of language to Hamitic, 
9 ff . ; said to belong to black race, 16 ; 
evidence insecure, 17 ; one stock with 
Hamites, 20 ; home in North Africa, 
21; why entered Arabia, 27, 119; ra- 
cial characteristics, 28 ; clans, 30 ff . ; 
totemistic, 35 ff. ; economic purpose 
of clans, 38 ff. ; family, 39 ff. ; sexual 
propensities of, 41 ff. ; beena mar- 
riage of, 55 ; polyajujry of, 61 ff. ; 
passed savagery when separated 
from Hamites, 73 ; knew date-palm, 
75, n. 4; early religious conceptions, 
81; sanctuaries, sacrifices, etc., 106; 
gathered in oases for date harvest, 
111 ; driven to Arabia by crowding 
of African oases, 119; mixture of 
religion of, with foreign, 147 ff.; in- 
fluenced Babylonian syllabary, 168, 



GENEEAI, INDEX 



335 



u. 1 ; goddesses of, 179 ff. ; at Shir- 
purla, Lulubi, Kish, Guti, and Agade, 
186, n. 1 ; influence on civilization, 
ch. viii ; both evil and good, 309 fE. ; 
good predominates, 322. 

Sennacherib, first to mention Ishtar 
of Arbela, 262. 

Sergi, G., 8, 16, 17, 18, 20, 26, 117, 270, 
312, 313. 

Serpent, nature of, in Eden, 93, 96 fE. 

Sex, perception of, represented as fruit 
of tree of knowledge, 94 ; what Sem- 
ites attributed to knowledge of, 
102 ; connection with moral advance- 
ment, 107; and religious feeling, 
307ff.,321fE. 

Shalraeneser II, king of Assyria, 154; 
called Hadad, " Bir," 227. 

Shamash, god of Agade and Larsa, 
212; worshipped at Agade by Sar- 
gon, 213 ; antiquity of, 213 ff. ; orig- 
inally a goddess, probably Sumerian, 
214. 

Shamashshumukin, Semitic idiom in 
Sumerian prayer of, 165. 

Shams, sun goddess, a survival of the 
mother goddess in south Arabia, 
129 ff. 

Shamsu-iluna, Babylonian king, built 
a fortress to Ramman, 225. 

Sharastani, Mohammed, 99. 

Shidlamtsea, an epithet of Nergal, 215. 

Shirpurla, temple taxes of, 158 ; dates 
received at, 159 ; city of old Baby- 
lonia, 162 ; held hegemony at dawn 
of history, 163 ; religion of, 184 ff . ; 
districts of, 185 ; three districts Se- 
mitic, 185; language spoken at, 
186 ff. ; name written without de- 
terminative, 260 ff. 

Sicily, Ashtart worship in, 252 ff. 

Sidon, religion of, 150 ff. ; Ashtart 
worship in, 243 ff. 

Simeon, a tribe, 271. 

Sin, a god, father of Mana, 199; god 
of Ur, ibid. ; a transformed Ishtar, 
200; identified with moon, 202; son 
of Enlil, ibid. ; member of the second 
triad, ibid. ; worshipped by the Guti, 
217. 

Sin-gamil, a king of Ur who repaired 
temple of Nergal, 216. 

Sippar, another name of Agade, 212; 
Khallabi near, 260. 

Skipwith, Mr., 283. 

Smend, Rudolf, 140, 284. 



Smith, George, 92, 197, 239, 241, 261, 
262. 

Smith, George Adam, 121, 139, 145, 
156, 230, 238. 

Smith, Henry Preserved, 89, 132, 275. 

Smith.I. G., 317. 

Smith, W. Robertson, 7, 29, 30, 31, 32, 
35, 36, 39, 41, 51, 52, 54, 55, 57, 59, 
63, 64, 65, 66, 68, 70, 76, 81, 86,87, 88, 
89, 92, 100, 101, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 
109, 112, 114, 123, 127, 132, 133, 136, 
138, 148, 152, 234, 235, 237, 251, 264, 
255, 265, 267, 279, 281, 283, 287, 289, 
291, 312. 

Social organization, ch. ii; effect on 
religious conceptions, 82; trans- 
formed in Arabia by time of Mo- 
hammed, 123. 

Socin, Albert, 140. 

Somali language, 10. 

Somalia, Somaliland, 8, 20, 24, 25, 48, 
56. 

Sozomen, 99. 

Spencer, Herbert, 40, 63, 69, 60, 63, 66, 
72. 

Spiegelberg, Wilhelm, 283. 

Sprenger, A., 4, 24, 44, 138. 

Springs, sacred among the Semites, 
92 ff. 

Stade, B., 95, 121, 147, 238, 270, 275, 
279, 284, 296. 

Starbuck, J. M., 107. 

Starcke, C. N., 40, 49, 51, 53, 59, 60, 
66, 67. 

Steindorf, G., 10, 247. 

Steurnagle, Carl, 251. 

Strabo, 42, 64, 101, 115, 123, 210, 260, 
253, 313, 314, 315. 

Strack, Hermann L., 275. 

Strassmaier, J. N., 46, 106, 226, 260. 

Stumme, H., 19. 

Suess, Ed., 13, 18. 

Sumerians, problem of, 164 ff. ; argu- 
ments of the Halevy school, 164 ff. ; 
counter arguments, 165 ff, ; solu- 
tion, 167 ff. ; inventors of cuneiform 
writing, 167 ; analogy of El-Amarna 
letters, 167 ff. ; religious argument, 
168; pictorial evidence, 170; nu- 
merical system, 170 ff. ; goddesses 
of, 180 ff. ; Sumir said to be original 
form of Girsu, 192, n. 1; Sumerian 
kingdom at Nippur, 204. 

Sumula-ilu, Babylonian king, witness 
to the early worship of Marduk, 
209. 



336 



GENEBAL INDEX 



Surippak, a city mentioned in Baby- 
lonian deluge story, 259. 
Suti or Guti, 37 ; their religion, 217 ff. 

Tabari, At-, 88. 

Tabernacles, feast of, 108; descended 
from old Semitic date festival, 111, 
288 ff. 

Tacitus, 250, 251, 252, 266. 

Taif, south of Mecca, seat of worship 
of Al-Lat, 233. 

Talab Riyam, a south Arabian god, 
developed from Athtar, 129. 

Tallquist, K. L., 158, 159. 

Tamesheq language, 10. 

Tammuz, general features of his 
worship, 85 ff. ; various relations 
to Ishtar, 85; connected with vege- 
tation, 85 ff., 86 ff., 112 ff. ; origin of 
wailing for, 86, 92 ff., 114 ff.; festi- 
val of, originally a fast before date 
harvest, 112, 289; connected with 
Bau-Ishtar, 190; with Ningirsu, 193 ; 
bewailed at Erech, 258; survivals 
of, 263 ff . ; nature of, 264 ff . ; called 
in Phoenicia Eshmun and Adon, 
265 ff. ; connected with caravan 
clans, 268; in Yahwe worship, 289 ff. 

Tanith, name of Semitic goddess in 
North Africa, 148, 150, 263; mean- 
ing and etymology of name, 253, 
n. 6; mother goddess, 254; same as 
Dido, 254 ff.; "face of Baal," 150, 
254. 

Tarkhu, Hittite god, held by Jensen 
to be original of Atargatis, 240. 

Tashmit, consort and reflection of 
Nabu, 212. 

Tell-Ibrahim, modern name of Kutha, 
215. 

Telloh, modern name of Shirpurla, 
183. 

Tertullian, 255. 

Teutonic pantheon, 178. 

Thatcher, Oliver, 318. 

Theodulus, son of Nilus, 237. 

Thibetan polyandry, 61, 63 ff.; in 
Yemen, ibid. ; relation to Nair, 
69 ff. 

Thomas, Richard H., 82. 

Thresliold, sacredness of, 101 ff. 

Tiele, C. P., 163, 168, 222, 223, 275. 

Tiglath-pileser I, king of Assyria, 154 ; 
called Ramman, god of " west coun- 
try," 226; mentioned Aramaeans, 
271. 



Tigris, overflow of, 156. 

Totem, a clan shibboleth, 33 ff. ; proofs 
of, 35 ff. ; among Hebrews, 36 ff. ; 
neighboring tribes, ibid. ; break up 
of, 63 ; trees as, 87 ; at Erech, 268. 

Toy, C. H., 36, 86, 91, 95, 113, 282, 295. 

Tree worship, 87 ff. ; in Abyssinia, 89 ; 
in Palestine, 89 ff. ; significance of, 
in Eden, 93-97 ; at Eridu, 197. 

Trumbull, H. Clay, 101, 282. 

Tylor, E. B., 91. 

Tyre, religion of, 149 ff. ; worship of 
Ashtart in, 244; wealth of, 300. 

Umu, a name of Ishtar at Erech, 256. 

Ur, city of Babylonia, 162 ; its dynasty, 
157; its temple taxes, 158; its god. 
Sin, 199; held a prehistoric hege- 
mony, 199, 256. 

Ur-Bau, Patesi of Shirpurla, 153; wor- 
shipped Nana of Erim, 186; Nin3,, 
188; Ea, 198; Dumuzizuab, 211; 
meaning of his name, 251, n. 2. 

Ur-Enlil, an old Babylonian king, 
204, n. 1. 

Ur-Gur, king of Ur, 153, 202 ; repaired 
temple of Shamash at Larsa, 212, 
256. 

Urkagina, king of Ur, 153 ; worshipped 
Ban, 189, 194. 

Ur-Nina, king of Shirpurla, 153 ; wor- 
shipped Nin&, 188 ; Ban, 189; mean- 
ing of his name, 251, n. 2. 

Ur-Ninib, king of Isin, 256. 

Uruazagga, one of the districts of 
Shirpurla, 185; a Semitic settle- 
ment, 192. 

Uruk, ancient name of Erech, 256. 

Urzaguddu, king of Kish, 203. 

Venus, Latin name of Ashtart, 249. 

Virgil, 253, 255. 

Vlock, W., 3, 28. 

Vogue, Comte de, 232, 233, 234, 239. 

Wadd, a Minsean god, 1,S0 ff. ; name 
derived from root " to love," 
131 ff. ; developed from mother 
goddess, ibid. ; consort of Athirat, 
247. 

Waitz, Theodor, 60. 

Wallace, Alfred Russell, 15, 18, 26, 74. 

"Ward, Wm. Hayes, 184, 189, 194, 210. 

Weber, Ferdinand, 281. 

Weber, Otto, 124, 125, 130, 272. 

Weeks, feast of, 108; not primitive. 



GENERAL INDEX 



337 



112 ff . ; adapted from Tammuz wail- 
ing preceding date festival, 113 ff. 

Weissbaeh, F. H., lt>i, 168. 

Wellhausen, Julius, 36, fl3, 63, 6S, 69, 
72, 79, 88, 89, 101, 108, 109, 111, 112, 
133, 134, 136, 147, 227, 233, 234, 235, 
236, 237, 238, 270, 280, 281, 283, 292, 
296. 

Wells, sacred among Semites. 92 ff. 

Wellsted, J. R., 57, 74, 75, 77, 78, 111, 
285. 

Westerraarck, Edward, 40, 41, 49, 51, 
53, 60, 66, 67. 

Wheat, indigenous to Babylonia, and 
one of the first grains there culti- 
vated, 157 ; references to it in lit- 
erature, ibid., n. 2. 

White, H. A,, 243. 

White races, origin of, 15 ff. ; divisions 
of, 16. 

Whitney, J. D., 14. 

Wiedemann, A., 8, 20, 26. 

Wife, residence of, during marriage, 
50 ff. ; residence of husband in her 
tent or tribe, 54 if. ; subject to hus- 
band, 123. 

Wildeboer, G., 272, 275. 

Wilken, G. A., 39, 47, 48, 61, 63. 

Wilkinson, John Gardner, 296. 

Winckler, Hugo, 31, 64, 106, 109, 111, 
113, 130, 162, 163, 181, 198, 199, 203, 
209, 217, 227, 255, 270, 272, 274, 279, 
286, 289, 296. 

Winstanley, W., 49, 137. 

Women, Semitic, beauty fades early, 
42 ; of Oman, 44 ff . ; lived in homes 
of brothers or uncles, 45 ff., 49 ff. ; 
residence of during marriage, 50 ff . ; 
exalted position of, 53; kept chil- 
dren with them, 54; not creatures 
of man, 56 ff . ; in Babylonia, 57 ff. ; 
position modified, 58 ff. ; scarcity 
of, 62; liberty limited in Thibetan 



polyandry, 70 ; desert women lower 

order, 71; sacrifices of, in Adonis 

worship, 246. 
Woodhouse, F. C, 317. 
Wright, William, 5, 10, 24, 28, 29, 312. 
Wustenfeld, Ferdinand, 44, 235. 
Wylde, Augustus B., 25, 49, 99, 136, 

138. 

Yaguth, Arabic lion god, 35. 

Yahu-bldi, king of Hamath, 284, 285. 

Yahumelek, king of Gebal, 122, 244. 

Yaliwe, origin of, ch. vii; a Kenite 
god, 272; supporters of this view, 
275 ; name revealed at Horeb, 276 ; 
unknown to fathers, ibid. ; home at 
Sinai, 277 ; storm god theory of 
Yahwe, 279 ; a transformed mother 
goddess, 280 ff., 287; etymology of 
name, 282 ff. ; connected with palm, 
286 ff.; Yahwe's passover, 287 ff. ; 
connected with Ashtart and Tam- 
muz, 289 ff. ; spiritual possibilities 
of covenant with, 291, 301 ff. ; be- 
came a Baal, 297 ff. ; genesis of 
spiritual conception of, 302 ff. ; con- 
nection of law with, 304 ff. 

Yaqut (Jacut), 44, 63, 76, 234. 

Ya'uq, Arabic horse god, 36. 

Yeha, town in Abyssinia, 135 ff. 

Yemen, economic condition of, 124. 

Zebulon, an Israelitish elan, 271. 
Zemzem.the sacred spring at Mecca, 

133, 235, 236. 
Zimmern, Heinrieh, 10, 87, 103, 140, 

165, 200, 214, 215, 260, 274. 
Zira-bani-ti, a folk etymology of the 

name Sarpanit, 209, n. 8. 
Zohair, an Arabian poet, 52. 
Zwemer, S. M., 48, 77, 78, 91, 95, 111, 

124, 125, 132, 134, 159, 161. 



INDEX OF SCRIPTURE REFERENCES 



Genesis pasx 

ii 93, 96 

ii, 8 96 

il, 9 95 

ii, 14 96 

ii, 15 96 

Hi 23, 89, 93, 96 

iii, 3 95 

iii, 9 95 

iii, 22 95 

xii,4 271 

xii, 18 89 

xiv, 5 142 

xiv, 13 238 

xvii 280 

xvii, 10-12 99 

xviii 140 

xviii, 1 89 

xix 140 

xxiv : 271, 278 

xsdv, 2 281 

xxiv, 9 281 

XXT, 12 ff. 32 

xxviii, 1-xxxii, 1 . . . . 271, 278 

xxviii, 22 290 

xxxi, 43 64 

xxxiv 100, 281 

XXXV, 8 89 

xxxvi 32 

xxxviii 90, 286 

xlvi, 17 31 

xlvii, 29 281 

xlviii, 5, 6 52 

xlix, 5 ff 272 

Exodus 

ii, 16ff 280 

iii, 1 280 

iii, 13 276 

iii, 14 283 

iii, 15 276, 283 

iv, 24, 25 . . . . 99,100,280,281 



PAOK 

vi, 2 276 

xii, 48 99, 280 

xiii 279 

xiv 279 

XV, 27 90, 285 

xviii, 12 ff 272, 276 

xix 279 

XX 292 

xxi, 12-14 138 

xxiii, 16 288 

xxxii, 2 296 

xxxiv 109,292 

xxxiv, 18-20 110 

xxxiv, 22 ff 288 

LEViTicns 

xvi 305 

xxiii, 34 288 

xxiii, 40-43 288 

XXV, 49 51 

Numbers 

V, 11-21 305 

X, 29 ff 277 

xxi, 27-30 142 

xxi, 29 141 

xxvi, 45 31 

xxxli, 12 251 

Deuteeonomt 

i, 39 94 

V 292 

vii, 5 290 

vii,13 105,282 

xxiii, 17, 18 251 

xxiv, 1-3 45 

xxvi, 5 . . . . 271 

xxviii, 4, 18 282 

xxxii, 17 87 

xxxiii, 2 277 

xxxiii, 29 249 

xxxiv, 3 90, 285 



.339 



340 



INDEX OF SCRIPTURE REFERENCES 



Joshua paoe 

V, 3, 9 280 

xiii, 21 238 

xiii,31 142 

XT, 32 227, 228 

xxiv, 14 276 

JCDQES 

i, 16 90, 277, 285, 288 

ii, 13 246 

iii, 7 247 

iii, 13 90 

iv, 5 89 

iy, 11 277 

iv, 17 ff 277 

■<^ 57 

V, 4ff 277 

T, 24 ff 277 

Ti, 11 89 

vii, 25 36 

X, 6 148,246 

xi,40 289 

XTi, 23 230 

XX, 33 90 

XX, 47 277 

xxi, 13 227 

1 Samtjei. 

i 287 

ii 288 

vii, 4 246 

XV, 6 277 

xxvi, 19 297 

XXX, 26 ff 278 

XXX, 29 278 

xxxi, 4 280 

xxxi ,9 242 

2 Samubi. 

i,20 280 

V, 2 ff 230 

viii, 3 227 

1 Kings 

i 138 

ii 138 

viii, 9 295 

viii, 10, 11 279 

viii, 21 295 

ix, 8 286 

X, 1 ff 124 

xi, 7, 33 141 

xii, 28 37, 298 



FAGB 

XV, 18-20 226 

xviii, 19 247 

xix 277 

XX 226 

xxi 300 

2 Kings 

iii, 4 140 

V, 17 227, 299 

v, 18 226 

vi, 24 226 

X, 15 277 

xvii, 24-34 139, 147, 149, 203, 217, 297 

xvii, 27, 28 299 

xxli, 13 304 

xxiii, 4 247, 291 

xxiii, 13 151 

xxiii, 14 290, 291 

1 Chronicles 

ii,55 277,278 

vii, 31 31 

X, 4 280 

Job 

xxxvii, 4 279 

xxxviii, 1 279 

PSALIUS 

xviii 279 

xviii, 10 91 

xxix, 3 ff 279 

Ixviii, 5 [4] 277 

Ixviii, 33 279 

civ, 13, 14 279 

cxlvii, 8, 16-18 279 

Isaiah 

i, 13-15 302, 304 

V, 1-7 302 

xix, 1 279 

1, 1 45, 302 

Ixv, 11 249 

Ixvi, 17 36 

Jeremiah 

ii,28 148 

iii, 1 ff 302 

iii, 4 68 

vii, 18 246 

xi, 13 148 

XXXV . 277 

xlviii, 7, 13, 46 141 



INDEX OF SCRIPTURE REFERENCES 



341 



EZEKIEI. p^GE 

i 279 

vili, 1 113 

viii, 10 36 

viii, 14 85, 246 

XX 302 

xxii, 11 52 

xxvii 300 

xxviii 300 

xli, 18 90, 286 

HOSEA 

ii 302 

ii, 5 151,297 

ii, 8 298 

ii, 12 151 

iii, 4 290 

iv, 13 89 

iv, 15 298 

vi, 6 304 

ix, 10 144 

ix, 15 298 

xi, 1 ft 306 

xii, 11 298 

Amos 

iii, 2, 3 302 

V, 4fE 298 

T, 21 ft 298, 304 

V, 24, 25 302 

vi, 13 238 

vii, 14 145 

Habaekue 

iii 279 

iii, 1 277 



ZeCHAEIAH piOE 

xii, 11 227 

LUEE 

XV, 16 145 

John 

iv, 24 303 

xvii, 23 107 

Acts 

xix 314 

Romans 

ii, 28fE 281 

iii, 30 280 

1 COKDfTHIANS 

V, vi 317 

X, 20 87 

xiii 302 

2 Petkb 

i, 21 307 

1 John 

i, 5 302 

iv, 8, 16 302 

BBTEIiATION 

xxi 96 

xxii, 1, 2 96 



i,5 



REFERENCES TO APOCRYPHA 

TOBIT 



37 



Epistle of Jeremiah 
42, 43 42, 210 



1 Maccabees 



v,43. . 
X, 83, 84 
xi, 4 . . 



238 
230 
230 



2 Maccabees 
xii, 26 238 

Ethiopic Enoch 

X, 10 96 

xxiv 89,96,28li 

XXV 96 

Psalter of Solomon 
xvii . 96 



342 



REFERENCES TO QTJR'AN 



REFERENCES TO QUR'AN 



PAGB 

ii, 140 132 

iv 131 

iv, 23 65 

iv, 26 64 

iv, 29 123 

V, 2, 3 132 

V, 96-98 132 

Ti, 100 36 



PAOK 

xix, 23 89 

xix, 25 «9 

xxxiii, 48 ^i 

liii 131 

liii, 19 235 

Ixv, 1-6 46 

IxT, 6 50 

cxii 131 



History, Prophecy, and the 
Monuments. 



JAMES FREDERICK McCURDY, Ph.D., LL.D., 

Professor in Oriental Languages in University College, Toronto, 



IN THREE VOLUMES. 

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